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the Dog Blog

Video Trick: Teach Your Dog To Play Dead

What a feeling of excitement and satisfaction we get when we teach our dogs a new trick! Whether you teach them how to be better behaved (sit, lay down, stay, off), or how to make your friends smile (shake hands, roll over, give a kiss), teaching your dog new behaviors can be very helpful and rewarding for both of you. Bil-Jac Super Premium Dog Food’s TV Show Host and Professional Animal Trainer Joel Silverman, present a series of dog tips to teach the tricks that will please both you and your dog. After using these videos as a guide, and Bil-Jac Treats as a reward, your best friend will be the most talented dog on the block! 

Training your best friend to play dead or lay on their side is not a difficult task, but is definitely a step-up in terms of  challenging  your dog versus  other tricks like sitting or shaking hands. This trick is used in Hollywood quite often for movie scenes. In order to learn this trick, your dog should already know how to lay down and stay.  Use these 7 simple steps to teach your dog to play dead from start to finish:

1. Lay Down

Start with your dog in a lying down position. Hold a treat in the opposite direction that you would like your dog to rotate on his hips and guide your dog to his or her back using the treat in your hand. 

2. Stay

It’s important to reward your dog in this position with a treat, since they are on the right track to successfully playing dead!

3. Straighten Up

After your dog eats the treat in a lying down position, say “straighten up” and guide the dog up with your hand to a laying down position on all four paws, rather than on their back.

4. Repeat

Repeat steps 1 through 3 and your dog will start moving a little bit easier. First, have your dog go to their side, then on their back, and then back up to all four paws lying down again. Make sure you reward your best friend with a treat during the stay part of step 2!

5. Repeat Again & Again

When your dog is consistent with the motion, try repeating the steps again without the treat.

6. Move Back

As the trainer, move back a little bit and start using your hand to signal on your side. You can see what this motion looks like in the video above.

7. Master the Trick

Your best friend will most likely master this trick over the course of about 4-7 days. Don’t forget to practice!

Remember to use the same words and actions consistently when training your pup.  Your dog will catch on more quickly and be able to learn the trick more easily if you are using all the same words and signals.  

Going through training sessions with your dog brings the two of you closer together and helps create that special bond. Teaching your best friend new tricks is so exciting but remember that it is important to end each session on a positive note. Let your dog know you are very proud of them; they’ll love the fact that you get so excited when they learn a new trick. That enthusiasm will make them want you to teach them more!

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Is there another trick you would like your best friend to learn? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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