One of the quintessential signs that a dog owner is in tune with their canine friend is when they can make their dog play dead. Of course, this is a trick that dogs should learn after the obligatory “sit” command. 

Once your dog has got the hang of sitting when told and maybe even rolling over, it’s time for the “play dead” training to commence! In this guide, we’ll explain how to teach your dog to play dead in a few simple steps. You will have to put time and effort into practicing this technique, but it will be worth it.

We must also say that if you have a puppy, it will be the best time for it to respond to such training. So let’s get into this!

Things You Need for This Dog Training

By now, you might have done some form of dog training to feel confident enough to tackle this command. You will need to have taught your dog to lie down already, and if they know how to roll over as well, that’s even better.

So you’ll need a good handful of dog treats ready before you train your dog to play dead. Some people like to use a little pouch to keep their treats in that strap around the waist like a fanny pack. You may also want to introduce a clicker into the mix if that’s the style of training you want to get into.

How To Teach Your Dog To Play Dead

Ok, first off, you need your dog to go into the lie-down position. Once your dog is there, hold a treat out in front of their nose. Then, move the treat to one side of your dog’s nose forcing them to tilt onto their side. 

When your dog falls onto their side, say a word of positive reinforcement, such as “good boy” or “well done” and give them the treat. An alternative option for affirmation is to give your clicker one click when they lay on their side, then give the treat.

You need to run through the process we just described many times for your dog to become accustomed to the process. If you’re training a puppy, it might catch on to this routine much quicker than older dogs.

Add in a Signal

Now that your dog knows the process, you can add in a trigger word like “bang!” You can also shape your fingers into a gun and flick your thumb when you say the word.

Of course, you can also just use the words “play dead,” but make sure to add in any sort of clear hand signal that makes it clear to your dog what action it needs to do. Whatever you choose to use, incorporate it into the training you’ve done already, and hey presto, your dog can play dead!

Teaching Your Dog Tricks

Now you know how to teach your dog to play dead. It’s a fun dog trick to teach and it’ll impress people who take an interest in your dog on walks or wherever else. 

For more tips on dog training, check out our blog.

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