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You’ve successfully taught your Golden Retriever to 'sit', 'stay', and respond to recall. But what about getting your dog to roll over? Teaching your Golden to roll over can be a fun trick and promote a stronger bond between owner and pup. It’s also a useful skill for your dog to acquire should you need to examine his belly for injuries or parasites. Overall, teaching your dog to roll over will result in fun for both of you.
Golden Retrievers are an energetic, smart, people-pleasing breed. Their happy-go-lucky attitude and boundless enthusiasm make them a quick study when it comes to learning tricks and skills. Your patience and consistency combined with your Golden’s inherent eagerness to learn and love for you will have your pup rolling over in no time at all!
Although training your Golden Retriever to roll over should not take long, it’s important to remember that for some Goldens, rolling over requires an already established trust with their owner. Being on his back is a vulnerable position for a dog. This position communicates subservience, especially in the presence of other canines.
Other dogs just aren’t comfortable on their backs at first. Pay attention to your Golden’s body language and attitude during training. Keep sessions short and fun, and your dog will soon realize that rolling over is a blast and ends with a tasty treat as a reward.
This training process also further solidifies your relationship with your Golden Retriever. The breed thrives on human interaction and approval, so in all likelihood, your Golden will jump--or roll over--at the chance to learn a new trick for you.
Start the training process in an area where your Golden Retriever is comfortable, preferably one without distractions or other dogs. Make sure the area that your dog will be rolling over in is clean of debris or items that could cause discomfort. Your dog will be much more agreeable to learning this process if he is trained ion an area that is not cold or hard, so try for a spot that is carpeted or that has a rug.
Have some of your Golden’s favorite treats on hand, and make sure you have an upbeat attitude and plenty of patience on hand before you begin the training process. When trained correctly, your Golden will quickly pick up on what you’re asking and will soon be rolling over on command.
The Follow the Treat Method
Grab some treats
Take a handful of smaller, quality treats that your dog enjoys.
Get your dog to lie down
Place your dog in a 'down' position so that he is lying fully on the floor.
See, smell, and move
Let your Golden Retriever see and smell the treat. Then move the treat down the dog's side to his shoulder area. Make sure your dog's head is following the treat as you move it.
Move across the back
Take the treat and move it across your dog's back. At this point, he should begin to flip onto his back in order to follow the treat.
Roll, praise, and reward
As soon as your dog rolls all the way over onto his opposite side, praise him and reward him with the treat. Continue to practice these steps in short sessions, and add the command "roll over" during Step 4.
The Step by Step Method
Give the 'down' command
Teach your dog to lie down by placing a treat on the ground near his two front paws. Say "down," and as soon as your Golden's belly touches the ground, reward him.
Have your dog lie on his side
Gently guide your dog down on his side. Use a small treat to encourage him to do so. Do not push or force your Golden onto his side. Treat your dog as soon as he lies on his side and repeat this step until he lies down of his own accord.
Use you dog's momentum
Hold a treat near your Golden's nose and rotate your hand toward his shoulder. When he follows your hand, help him use his momentum to roll over by gently rotating him to his opposite side. Reward him and practice this step multiple times until he is comfortable with it.
Incorporate hand signals
Once your dog gets the hang of rolling over, switch from treats to hand signals. First, practice with a treat in hand. Then on the next session, pretend to have a treat in your hand and simply make the hand motion. Eventually, dump the treats and use the hand motion exclusively.
Give a 'roll over' command
After further practice, begin giving your dog the "roll over" command before you use the hand signal for the action. Repeat these steps as necessary until your dog is fully trained for this skill.
The Anti-Hyper Method
Exercise your dog
If your Golden Retriever jumps up a lot and loses focus when you try to get him to roll over, begin the training process by exercising your pup for twenty minutes.
Engage in some down time
Give your dog a few minutes to recover from his exercise.
Encourage your dog to lie down
While your dog is calm, have him lie down on the floor.
Show him the treat and move
Let your dog see the treat in your hand so that you gain his attention and focus. Then take the treat, place it near the Golden's nose, and slowly rotate the treat toward the shoulder and then over the back. This should be done slowly (30-60 seconds).
Treat and praise
Once your dog has rolled over, immediately give him the treat and praise him. Eventually this step should incorporate the 'roll over' command and should be practiced in other locations of the house and outside.
By Erin Cain
Published: 02/15/2018, edited: 01/08/2021