There are many methods that can be used to teach your Labrador Retriever to obey the command “Roll Over”. Some of these methods use associations with previous basic tricks, and some of them use the “Roll Over” command as an independent command. Depending on what level of training you have accomplished with your dog, one or both of these methods may be necessary before you find which method works best.
ASSOCIATION WITH OTHER TRICKS
The most common method that dog owners use to teach their dog to roll over is by first teaching their dog the “Down” command. This command is usually taught in association with the “Sit” command. Once your dog is in the “Down” position, try enticing them to roll over with a treat. Labrador Retrievers love food, so any training method that involves a treat reward will usually be the most effective.
Bend down while holding a treat to one side of your dog’s head. This is best accomplished if your Labrador is laying down with their legs partially extended to one side, a common resting position. Keep the treat on the same side that your dog is leaning away from, slowly rotating the treat from the side of the head to the back. Your dog will attempt to follow the treat, and will end up rolling over on their back. Continue rotating the treat to the opposite side of the head than you started on, keeping your pace slow so that your dog can follow. During this process, don’t forget to say the “Roll Over” command! Once your dog is completely upright, reward them with the treat, and a significant amount of praise.
This method is used in association with the “Down” command, but “Roll Over” should eventually be attempted as a separate trick, once your dog is comfortable with the command.
“ROLL OVER” AS A SEPARATE TRICK
This can be attempted either before or after you try associating the “Roll Over” command with another command. Start by approaching your dog while they are lying down. Show them a small treat, so that you are able to command their full attention. Start by gently rolling your dog over by grasping the legs, while simultaneously rubbing your dog’s stomach. Most dogs will naturally roll over while having their tummy rubbed. Be sure to be gentle while grasping your dog’s feet, as many dogs do not like having their feet touched. Continue this until your dog has completely rolled over from one side to the other.
Repeat the “Roll Over” command, and then allow your dog to get up. Reward them with the treat, and be sure to offer a lot of praise. This method may need to be repeated several times before your Labrador associates the spoken command with the act of rolling over.