How To Teach A Dog To Play Dead On-Command In 5 Easy Steps

How To Teach Dog To Play Dead On Command In 5 Easy Steps
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A dog’s new trick is to teach a dog to play dead, although it’s not as important as training your dog basic obedience cues. By the way, it’s still a fun game to impress and brag to friends and family about what a good boy your dog is. This entertaining trick incorporates basic commands like “down” or “bang” when your pup dramatically flops to the ground. Check out these steps from Canvas Personalized and practice with your puppy!

What You’ll Need for the Dog Bang Trick

Before teaching a dog to play the dead trick, ensure both you and your pet are comfortable and well-prepared. Go over these essential dog training tips again, and then start working on practicing with your puppy.

How To Teach A Dog To Play Dead On Command
What You’ll Need for the Dog Bang Trick – Copyrighted by Herepup
  • Consult your veterinarian, especially if your dog has any underlying health concerns or behavioral issues or if you have training questions.
  • A comfortable and quiet space: Keep away from dog parks or bustling areas where your dog won’t be overwhelmed by sights and sounds.
  • Pet mat or soft blanket: It cushions your dog’s joints during rolling and lying down, especially important for older pups. It also helps them avoid slipping on a hard floor, making position changes easier and less scary.
  • High-value dog treats (Tasty treats or interesting toys) or clickers
  • Short and focused training sessions: 15 to 20 minutes per day
  • Patience: Every dog learns at its own pace. Avoid scolding, forcing, or intimidating your dog if they don’t get it right away.

How To Train a Dog To Play Dead Quickly In 5 Easy Steps

The classic game is still one of the most impressive dog new tricks to entertain your guests with many laughs. Ensure that your dog knows how to come and learn the sitting position and other basic commands. Here is a detailed step list based on the American Kennel Club.

Step 1: Begin with the dog lying down position

Teach A Dog To Play Dead
Step 1 – How To Train a Dog To Play Dead

Ask your dog to lie down and pay attention to whether its belly hits the ground. Notice which side they’re leaning on and move the treat diagonally from your dog’s nose to their opposite shoulder. Only reward them until they rotate on their back or in your desired direction.

Repeat several times until you ask your dog to lie down perfectly, and reward their good movement with a verbal cue or cue word “Yes” or “Good job,” or use a clicker instead of giving a treat in your hand.

Pro tip
When at ease, most dogs lean more on one hip than the other. So you can hold the treat in your hand and pass it over for the dog to roll on its back in the desired direction naturally because this movement will come in handy in the next step.

>>>Learn more about the comprehensive guide to teaching your dog to lie down!

Step 2: Keep practicing and add the verbal cue

Things To Keep In Mind To Play Dog Dead
Step 2 on teaching your dog how to play dead – Copyrighted by Hypro Premium

When your dog understands a firm lying down cue with their comfortable side or rolling over onto their back, reward them and add a verbal cue, visual cue, or cue word (something like ‘play dead!’ or ‘bang!”).

Remember to reward your dog with clicker training or verbal praise when they’re in the correct position. Repeat without a treat to make your dog master roll over on their back.

Step 3: Repeat and use the hand signal

Teach A To Dog Play Dead
Easy tricks to teach your dog – Copyrighted by The Spruce Pets

Adding a hand signal after your dog rolls over on their back is the perfect way to teach your dog this trick. Then, make your hand into a gun shape position and move diagonally over your dog’s shoulder while holding it in front of your dog’s nose.

Repeat to let your dog know what you want them to do when posing your hand like this. Remember to reward them every time they get into the proper down position.

Step 4: Combine both verbal cues and hand signals to play the dead dog trick

The goal is to teach your dog the commands of lying down, rolling over, and playing dead using verbal and hand cues.

Slowly introduce the verbal command “bang” and a gun-positioned hand signal to your dog. Only mark and reward their movement with a treat that will teach your dog this behavior is acceptable.

Pro tip
You can use any verbal cue in the step so that they understand it gradually. Ensure your verbal cue and hand signal work well together to play dead dog trick.

>>> Learn more about the other commands to teach a dog to roll over!

Step 5: Repeat to master the trick.

Repeat these steps multiple times a day for a couple of minutes, and then give them a short break. Remember, consistency is key to a successful dog bang trick.

Pro tip
If your dog quickly becomes accustomed to playing dead, make it more difficult by giving them a lie-down command for a more extended period, about 10-15 seconds, and only rewarding them when their back touches the ground.

Advanced Training Tips to Teach Dogs How to Play Dead

Advanced Methods To Play Dead Dog Trick
Advanced Dog Training Tips How To Play The Dead Trick – Copyrighted By The Bark

Start teaching your dog to play this fun trick will enhance the bond between you and your pup, but training your dog isn’t always easy. Beyond these basic steps, go through these advanced tips if your dog has some of the problems listed below:

The Dog Finds It Hard To Focus

Not all dogs have vital obedience, and don’t pay attention when you start training dog bang trick. In this case, you should not smack them, yell at them, or try to force them to follow your command.

Take these steps slowly and determine what drives your pup to play. Try different types of treats until you find ones that your dog enjoys and will completely obey your command.

The Dog Is Unfamiliar With Displaying The Belly Exposed

The Dog Is Unfamiliar With Displaying The Belly Exposed
Teach dog to play dead – Copyrighted By Getty Images Signature

Some dogs may feel extremely exposed when they lie on their sides or belly exposed when you teach them to play this fun trick. In this case, the pet parents should slow down the training session and build trust with their dog to ensure they feel comfortable and appreciated when lying on its back.

Hence, make a mental note to use this side to play dead if it favors one side.

Dog’s Getting Stressed or Confused

When teaching your dog how to play dead, distractions can hinder their learning. Choose a quiet, less distracting space to practice the trick. Don’t forget to have their favorite treats on hand to reward their progress!

Dog'S Getting Stressed Or Confused
Teach dog how to play dead – Copyrighted By Getty Images

“Bang” Not Your Style? Creative Cues for Dog Play Dead Trick

Playing dead is one of the easy tricks to teach your dog, and it can be a fun bonding experience. But, does the idea of shouting “bang” feel a little out of place in your peaceful home? Then, these are some fun and creative alternative cues to get your dog rolling (literally) with the hilarious “play dead” trick.

  • “Kaboom”: It sounds like a fun game rather than a strict command.
  • “Flop”: It mimics the sound of something falling over, which is exactly what the dog does when playing dead.
  • “Lights out”
  • “Sleepy time”
  • “Nap attack”: It describes a sudden sleepiness, making the trick feel like a natural behavior.
  • “Snuggle time”: This cue suggests that once the trick is done, there will be an opportunity for affection with your pet.
  • “Belly rub”
  • “Freeze”
  • “[Your dog’s name] Down”: Personalizing the cue with the dog’s name can help capture its attention and reinforce existing obedience training.
  • “Uh oh”

>>> Further reading:

Learning to teach a dog to play dead is one of the funniest tricks that your dog can be mastered with these simple steps above. This trick will enhance trust between you and your dog and allow friends and family to interact with your dog positively. Hence, by following us on Canvas Personalized blog, you can learn more basic tricks to enrich your and your dog’s life.

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Training & Behaviors