How to Train Your Dog to Play Dead When You Say Bang

Treats can lure your dog into playing dead. Images

After teaching your dog basic commands, such as "come" "sit" "down" and "stay," it might be fun to teach him some tricks. Not only will this impress your friends and family members, it also creates an opportunity for you to spend quality time with your furry pal. Dogs that play dead are the show-stealer in many movies, and with patience and consistency, you can teach your dog to do the same thing, each time you say "bang."

Step 1

Take your dog for a walk and allow him to run and play so he's burns pent-up energy and is eager lie down and rest. You want him to be calm and relaxed for his training session.

Step 2

Practice playing dead on command in a quiet area of the house that's free of distractions. Close the curtains to avoid outside distractions and avoid loud noises from family members or the television.

Step 3

Arm yourself with a bag of treats and tell your dog "down" or another command that you use to get him to lie down. Then, kneel in front of him on the floor.

Step 4

Take a treat in your hand and hold it at the side of your dog's head. Move the treat in front of his nose toward his shoulder blade on the other side of his body. As he follows the treat with his nose and his body falls on its side, say "bang" and gently roll him over on his back to give him a belly rub so he stays down. Then, give him the treat and say "good bang" to reinforce his good behavior.

Step 5

Repeat step 4 about five to 10 times during each training session so your dog eventually starts associating the "bang" command with falling over and getting rewarded. Avoid forcing the training -- if your furry pal gets frustrated, stop and continue the next day.

Step 6

Stop touching your dog to help him stay down as he gets more comfortable with the "bang" command. While he's lying on his back, wait a little longer each time before praising him and letting him have the treat. If he gets up prematurely, you might be progressing too fast. Just continue using your hands to gently encourage him to stay down.

Step 7

Incorporate a hand signal with your verbal command. Make a gun-like shape with your fingers and point and shoot it at your dog as you give the "bang" command. With consistent practice, your pet companion should be able to play dead each time you give the verbal command and hand signal.

Step 8

Say "OK" to release your dog out of the dead position. At first, you might have to clap your hands excitedly while saying "OK" to get your dog to understand that he can get up. Over time, he'll learn that "OK" means that he can get up.


  • If you have young kids, consider using "boo" or "take a nap" as the command instead of "bang." Also, consider skipping the hand signal or changing it.

An Item You Will Need

  • Dog treats