If you’re looking for a way to occupy yourself, your dog will be at your service to spend some time learning a trick with you. This will be fun for you both!
Here’s a trick to get your started; roll over. Please do this on something soft like a mat / carpet, or outside on the grass and don’t work on it just after your dog has eaten.
- Start this once your dog has learnt ‘down / lie down’. If they don’t know that cue yet, your first job is to teach them that.
- Ask your dog to lie down and hold a treat in front of their nose.
- When your dog takes notice, which shouldn’t take long(!) move the food away from their mouth slowly…
- … move it towards their shoulder, be aware of the position of their back legs so they’re rolling in a direction that’s natural.
- Your dog’s head will follow the food, directing their body to roll over in order to get it.
- When your dog completes this action, offer the food and give lots of praise.
- You will need to do this several times!
- When your dog is comfortably repeating the behaviour, start saying ‘roll over’ as they’re doing it.
- Gradually reduce the treats and test to see if they have learnt the ‘roll over’ cue.
If they haven’t, don’t worry, just repeat the action a few more times until they have learnt it. It’s supposed to be fun, so there’s no time pressure and it’s simply an opportunity for you and your hound to hang out and share some time together.