What Is the Hand Sign for Roll Over for a Dog?

by Betty Lewis
    Your dog has to lay down before he rolls over.

    Your dog has to lay down before he rolls over.

    Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

    You and your pup have trained hard together to make him a well-behaved companion, responsive to your direction. After he's mastered the basics, such as "sit," "stay" and "come," it's time to have a little fun. Teaching Roofus to roll over using a hand sign makes an impressive trick.

    The signal for "roll over" is pretty simple: Keep your hand waist-high, point your finger and make a circular motion with your pointer finger. Teaching Roofus to roll over is more complicated. He'll need to understand the "down" command, and you'll need a good supply of treats on hand as incentive.

    After your pup's in the "down" position, hold the treat at the side of his face and slowly move it to the back of his head. Your pup should turn his head and shift his body to follow the treat. Keep practicing the move, moving the treat further along his side and down until he's down on his side. Once he's on his side, move the treat toward his rear, which will make him shift on his side, eventually bringing him on his back. Giving him treats throughout the process will encourage the movement. If he decides he likes hanging out on his back, try to lure him with a treat to complete the circle; you may have to give him a gentle nudge to finish the motion. When he's learned the steps, take him through the entire motion before rewarding him with a treat, gradually replacing snacks with lavish praise for a job well done.

    Photo Credits

    • Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Betty Lewis is a writer and editor specializing in pet care, animals, careers and emergency management. She previously ran an animal shelter, where she also served as a kennel attendant and dog trainer. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, an M.B.A. and a master's degree in professional studies.

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