Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stop, Drop, and Roll

Sounds like a fire-safety demonstration.

Yet this is a fun and easy trick to teach your dog.

When you cue your dog to lie down, it will stop moving forward which makes this trick really only two parts: the drop (lie down) and the roll (roll over).

Drop: Teach this by luring from a Sit to a Down with a treat. Put the treat close to your dog's nose, then lower it slowly to just in front of its front toes. That hand motion becomes a silent cue for Down. Reward your dog with praise and a treat. When your dog drops quickly three times in a row, lured by treats, stop using treats and just lower your empty hand (open palm toward the floor). As soon as your dog lies down, drop a treat from your other hand.

Roll: With your dog lying down, put a treat close to her nose, then move it slowly past her shoulder and toward her hip. Reward with the treat. Do that again, but as she bends her neck, following the teat, move it a little farther so she rolls onto her other side, with her body curved. Reward. Repeat, then move the treat toward her spine, keeping the curve, so she rolls onto her back. Reward. Repeat, but move the treat in a half circle near her head so she rolls all the way over. Reward. When your dog confidently follows the treat lure, keep the treat hidden in your other hand and gesture with your empty hand (same movement as when luring) to signal to roll.

Stop, Drop, and Roll: When your dog can both lie down and roll over, put them together. Signal Down, the Roll. Reward after your dog rolls over. Gradually increase the speed of drop-and roll until your dog can do the sequence smoothly.

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