How to Train a Labrador Puppy to Roll Over

Medium
3-6 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

Once your Labrador Retriever has some basic obedience commands down and is doing them on a regular basis, you can begin to train him some fun tricks like how to roll over. 

Rolling over is a trick that will get attention. Think about all the cute things your Labrador Retriever puppy can do once he knows how to roll over. Amuse your guests by having them ask your dog to roll over  You can have your little guy roll over and play dead, then put him in the local theater program. After you teach your little guy to roll over you can give him a blanket and train him to tuck himself in. 

This is an incredibly playful trick and is limitless in the things you can build upon once your puppy knows this particular command.

Defining Tasks

Training your Labrador Retriever puppy to roll over is going to require a commitment of your time as well as an understanding of how this trick plays out with other tasks your little guy already knows how to do, such as 'sit' and 'down'. Make sure your puppy already has those basic obedience commands well understood before you start training the 'roll over' command so you are not having to stop and train him the basics. 

There are few ways to teach your puppy to roll over. You can lure him, you can gently guide him, and you can entice him. Whichever method you choose, be sure you remain consistent and train this trick on a regular basis, so your puppy isn't allowed to forget it.

Getting Started

You will need some quiet distraction-free training time. Puppies are generally excited, highly energetic, and easily distracted. Don't count on having your puppy's attention for a long time. Schedule your training sessions to be short and simple but do them often enough so your puppy remembers and can build from his last session. Consider using different treats than you normally give your Lab pup. These high-value treats will encourage him to work harder and pay attention as he learns to roll over.

The From Down Method

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Step
1
Lie down
Ask your Lab to lie down. If he doesn’t know this basic command just yet, go back and train him the basics before teaching more advanced commands. Once he lies down, give him a treat.
Step
2
Enticing treat
Hold a treat up near the side of your puppy’s nose. Let him sniff it but don’t let him have it yet.
Step
3
Head roll
Move the treat over your pup’s nose to the opposite side of his face. Your dog’s head will likely follow the treat. If he does move his head toward the treat, give him the treat. If he doesn't move right away, keep trying.
Step
4
Repeat
Keep doing this, expecting your dog to move his head each time. Each time he succeeds give him the treat. Keep practicing until your little guy gets used to this movement. Once he’s doing this on his own, move on to moving his body over.
Step
5
Roll over
After practicing getting your pup to move his head, you’ll need to have him roll the rest of his body. This time entice him with a treat moving it farther away from his face from one side to the other. You may need to gently roll him over by lifting his shoulder at first, but with a bit of practice, he’ll begin to roll on his own.
Step
6
Reward
Keep trying to get your puppy over to the other side by luring him with a treat. Each time he rolls his whole body over, give him a treat.
Step
7
Command
Once your little guy can roll over by following a treat from one side to another, start using a command to name the trick. Ask your puppy to "roll over" as you move the treat over.
Step
8
Only command
With practice, you should be able to take the treat away altogether and only use the command to ask your pup to roll over. Be sure to give your puppy a treat each time he is successful.
Recommend training method?

The Watch Me Method

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Step
1
Stand before
Stand before your dog and ask him to ‘watch me.’ To introduce this command, you can hold a treat to your nose to get his attention. You need to ensure you have his attention before moving on.
Step
2
Treat for reward
When you have your puppy’s attention, give him the treat. Show him a second treat to hold his attention.
Step
3
Down
Have your puppy lie down. Give him this second treat and show him another treat to keep his attention.
Step
4
Hand signal
Start using a hand signal to tell your puppy to roll over. Use your pointer finger and draw a circle in the air. This will be your hand signal from now on to get your pup to do this trick.
Step
5
Rolling
Because your little guy won’t know to roll right away, gently lift his two front paws and shoulder and roll him over.
Step
6
Treat
As soon as he rolls to the other side, give him a treat.
Step
7
Repeat
Practice this over and over until you no longer need to lift him and roll him yourself. Then use only the hand signal to get your pup to roll over. Be sure to give the pup a tasty treat each time he succeeds.
Step
8
Practice
This trick will take lots of repetition. Practice every day. With lots of practice, this trick could become a fun trick to show off your dog’s talents.
Recommend training method?

The Lure Roll Method

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Step
1
Basic obedience
Train your puppy to sit and lie down first. Once he can do these two tricks, have him sit and give him a treat for obeying.
Step
2
To the side
You’ll want to lure your puppy to one side. To do this, hold a treat near his nose and slide it down from his snout, down his leg, and toward his front paw. He should follow the treat and lie down on his side. You may have to try several times and move the treat over to get him on his side instead of his stomach.
Step
3
Repeat
Keep working on this getting your pup to lie down and roll to one side. Give him the treat each time he reaches this milestone.
Step
4
Roll over
When your pup is getting down on one side easily, get him to roll over by luring him with a treat from one side to the other. With him lying on his side, take a second treat and show it to your puppy. Then move the treat from one side of your dog’s nose to the other side of his body.
Step
5
Follow treat
Your little pup should follow the treat, flipping his body from facing one direction to the other. If he doesn’t immediately follow, you can gently guide him by lifting his paws and flipping them over.
Step
6
Command
As he begins to roll over following the treat, name the command. Each time your little guy moves over, say the command "roll over" and give him a treat once he’s facing the opposite direction. Practice this often. Eventually, your dog will be able to roll over by command only.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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