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How to Teach a Dog to Play Dead

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Train Your Dog to Play Dead

Dog Playing Dead

Of all the dog tricks that entertain onlookers, one of the most fun is the ol’ “Bang Bang” trick. The play dead trick is not only fun to do, but can also strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Some dogs may take a while to learn it so be ready to be patient. The end result is well worth it once your dog has the trick down.

Relax your dog

Get your dog in a calm state of mind. You can do this by playing or exercising with him for 10 to 15 minutes. Once he’s relaxed, choose an area with minimal distractions so your dog’s focus is solely on you.

Put him into the “down” position

Use the “sit” cue to get your dog sitting. One he’s in this position, offer a treat to lure him into the “down” position. Gently push him onto his side. While he’s lying on his side, make a gesture with your free hand and say your desired cue, such as “bang” or “roll over.”

At this point, your dog should roll his entire body over. As soon as he rolls over, reward him with a treat and praise.

Repeat and reward

Spend about 10 minutes at a time repeating this trick with your dog. Always reward your dog with treats and praise every time he successfully rolls over on command. When your dog’s comfortable with this trick, try giving your command at a farther distance.

Watch this video of a Pug dramatically playing dead.

Learn more dog tricks from an Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer (ABCDT). Find a professional dog trainer in your area by clicking here.

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