How To Teach Your Dog To Sit, Lie Down, Roll Over, and Play Dead - Fast

How To Teach Your Dog To Sit, Lie Down, Roll Over, and Play Dead  - Fast

Teaching a dog to do tricks is fun and entertaining.  Not only does it stimulate a dog’s mind, but it also burns up some extra energy while providing some bonding time between dog and owner.

Teaching tricks is also great for overall training.  It improves dog behavior since it teaches the dog’s foundational learning skills, and also improves their focus.  Once a dog starts learning tricks, they often enjoy them and are willing to learn many more.

One of the fastest ways to teach a dog a new trick is with lure training.  Lure or lure-reward training is simply “luring” or guiding your dog into position using a delicious treat. 

The first step to successful lure training is to discover what treat the dog finds irresistible.  Once you determine that, you use those but you can mix them up with other treats to keep things fresh and interesting.  Buy small sized treats or cut them into pea sized pieces so you can offer many rewards.

Hint for use on all tricks - after your dog learns a trick with the lure, hold the treat in your other hand and lure the dog with your empty hand so they get the idea that they don’t only perform the trick when you have a treat.

You will eventually offer fewer and fewer treats until the dog will do the trick without any treats.  You can also use toys as rewards after they learn the trick.

Pro tip - a clicker is also a great tool to mark desired behavior and is perfect for use when teaching tricks.


To get your dog to sit:

  1. Stand or kneel above your dog.
  2. Hold the treat in front of their nose.
  3. Slowing move the treat over the back of the dog’s head, say “sit” as they begin to sit.
  4. The dog will naturally sit, when it does, mark the behavior with praise, click and the treat. If the dog tries to back up, try teaching this with your dog’s back against the wall so they can’t back up.
  5. Practice often and in different locations with distractions.

Lie Down

After the dog learns to sit, you can teach it to lie down:

  1. Start by telling the dog to sit.
  2. Once in the sit position, hold the lure in front of the dog’s nose and bring down toward the ground with the dog following, say “down” as soon as they are almost in the down position.
  3. Once down, mark the behavior with praise, click, and the treat.
  4. Practice often and in different locations with distractions.

Roll Over

After the dog learns to lie down, you can teach it to roll over.  This is more complicated and will take more time to learn.  It is rewarded in parts, until they learn the trick:

  1. Start by telling your dog to lie down.
  2. Once down, move the treat towards the shoulder while gently pressing on the shoulder to teach him to lie on its side, when the dog does, give a treat. Some dog will lie on their side using only the lure.
  3. Once the dog learns to lie on its side, start pulling the treat back toward and over the shoulder so the dog naturally has to roll over to follow the treat, you can offer praise and treat at this point but keep an extra treat in your hand so that you can reward when the dog completely rolls over.
  4. Keep practicing in stages until the dog smoothly rolls over for one treat.

Play Dead

To teach your dog to play dead:

  1. Start by telling your dog to lie down.
  2. Once down, get your dog to roll onto its side by moving the treat toward the dog’s shoulder.
  3. Once the dog has learned to lie on its side, practice luring the dog to its side with an empty hand. Hold the lure/treat in your opposite hand.  Shape your hand holding the treat in the shape of a gun.  When the dog lies down, give the treat with the hand shaped like the gun that was holding the treat.
  4. Keep practicing and make the movements with the gun hand more dramatic so the dog learns that the gun is a hand gesture that means to lie on its side.
  5. Once the dog learns the hand signal, add the verbal cue, “bang” when you give the hand gesture.
  6. If the dog gets confused, rolls over, etc. simply do not give the dog a treat and try again.
  7. When the dog masters this, add the stay command.

We hope you have fun with these tricks.  Please share them with your friends.

Related Posts