Playing dead is one of the most popular commands to teach your dog. Not only is it an impressive trick, but it’s also great fun for both you and your pet. Learning how to teach a dog to play dead takes time and dedication. But by putting the work in, you and your dog can make this trick appear effortless.
How does it work?
To do this trick your dog needs to be able to recognize that you are asking them to perform a physical task, recognize a verbal cue, and react to a visual aid; which is the pointing of your finger.
Learning how to teach a dog to play dead takes more training than simply pointing a finger and giving a verbal command though. This is because the trick is a culmination of several commands into one.
The first command you and your dog need to master is “stay”. Once your dog listens to the stay command you are both ready to move onto the next stage, which is the “down” command.
When you and your pet have mastered these two basic commands you are ready to learn how to teach a dog to play dead.
Teaching your dog to roll onto their back
To successfully know how to teach your dog to play dead, your pooch needs to differentiate between rolling over and rolling onto their back. In order to teach them; place yourself on the floor and give the “down” command.
Once your dog is lying flat on the floor on their belly, you can roll them onto their side or back and give them the “stay” command.
After practicing this several times, your dog should pick it up and you can move onto the next part. The next stage of how to teach your dog to play dead is to introduce the verbal command “play dead”.
The traditional trick involves pretending to shoot your dog with a finger gun, so some people may choose the verbal command “bang”. However, any word will work as long as it is used consistently.
Once your dog learns to associate the physical action with the verbal cue, it’s time to add the visual aid. This is as simple as pointing your index finger and thumb towards your dog as you say your chosen command word.
Patience and encouragement
Your dog should be able to master this trick within a month if you regularly train and practice with them. Remain patient and persistent and stick to a consistent training schedule.
Spending quality time with your pup is a great way to strengthen the bond between you.
Be prepared to give them plenty of praise and treats when you undertake how to teach your dog to play dead. Always have treats ready to hand before you start practicing. Your dog will eventually be able to do the trick without taking a treat.