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How To Teach A Dog To Play Dead?

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Playing dead is a classic trick to teach your dog. It is not one of the most important, but many dog owners like to whip this one out. It is good fun for your dog and the people around you. 

It is not a difficult trick to teach your dog. All you really need is a handful of their favorite treats and some patience. They should be able to lie down on command for this training to go well. It helps if they already know how to roll over too. 

How to teach a dog to lie down

The first step to this is to instruct your dog to sit. Hold one of their favorite treats in between your fingers, with the palm of your hand facing the floor. Hold this hand in front of your dog’s nose and drop it straight down to the floor.

As your dog begins to lower themselves towards the floor, issue a verbal reward such as the word yes. Give them a reward and then repeat this process around 5 times. 

Instruct your dog to sit. Hold a treat in the same way as before and lower it to the ground, before pulling it back towards yourself. This will force your dog to lie down with its belly on the floor. Again, mark with a verbal cue and a treat. Repeat this 5 more times.

Repeat a further 5 times, this time with the absence of a treat in your hand. Still reward them with a verbal cue and a treat. 

After this, incorporate a verbal cue. We recommend using the word ‘down’. Lower your hand to the ground, mark, and reward. This should be repeated a  further 5 times.

Over time, you should be able to just say the verbal cue and begin to fade out the hand motion. Reward them each time they do it successfully. 

How to teach a dog to roll over

Tell your dog to lie down. You should then try to judge which hip your dog favors. To do this, look at the side on which their weight is leaning.

Grab a treat and hold it to your dog’s nose. If your dog’s weight is on their left hip, move the treat diagonally over their right shoulder. You should always be moving the treat diagonally over the opposite shoulder to the weighted hip.

Your dog will begin to lean back at this point to follow the treat. Mark and reward them, before repeating this step 5 times. 

Once they have managed this, repeat these steps without a treat in your hand. Repeat a minimum of 5 times. 

How to teach a dog to play dead

You should wait until they are paying attention to you and then instruct your dog to lie down. Hold a treat to their nose, and slowly drag it left or right. This will force your dog to roll over onto its side. If they attempt to get up then remove the treat until they lie back down. 

When they are lying on their side, give a positive verbal word of encouragement. We recommend yes, or good. Give your dog one of the treats as a further reward. Repeat this process a number of times to set it into your dog’s mind. 

Once you are fairly confident that your dog knows what to do, begin to incorporate a verbal and physical cue. If you want to be able to fake shooting your dog and for them to collapse, this is your time to teach them.

Make a fake gun with your hand and say bang. You can make this whatever you like, the only limit is your imagination. 

Give them the verbal and physical cues, and repeat all of the steps above. Eventually, your dog will begin to associate it all together and will be able to do the trick just from the cues. 

You will need to practice this trick multiple times a day for short bursts of time. After a week or two, your dog should be able to perform the trick with no problems. 

What is the hardest trick to teach your dog?

White dog laying on its back playing dead.

One of the hardest tricks to teach your dog is waiting. This is because it works on their patience, which is not a skill that comes naturally to most dogs. Spinning, army crawling, sitting pretty, and standing tall. 

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog?

Easy tricks to teach your dog include shaking paws and catching objects that have been thrown. Dancing and speaking are other easy tricks to teach them. 

What are the easiest dog breeds to train?

Some of the easier breeds to train include German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Poodles, and Rottweilers. Boxers, Dobermans, English Spaniels, and Border Collies are also easy to train. 

Female dogs tend to be faster and easier to train than their male counterparts. Around 19% of puppy owners are said to spend less than 30 minutes a week training their dogs. The longer you spend helping to train them, the easier it will become over time.

What are the hardest dog breeds to train?

Beagles are the hardest to train. Other difficult breeds are Siberian Huskies, Basset Hounds, Chinese Shar-Peis, and Afghan Hounds. Chow chows, Bullmastiffs, and American Pit Bull Terriers are also other difficult breeds. 

What are the 7 basic dog commands?

The 7 basic commands that you should teach your dog are: sit, down, stay, come, heel, off, and no. These are ones that you will need to use on a regular basis and it is important that your dog has a solid grasp on all of these. 

Knowing these commands will help your dog to stay safe and well in all situations. You should practice these skills for a period of between 10 and 15 minutes each day. After a week or two of consistent practicing your dog should have a firm grasp on each of these tricks.