Teach Dog to Play Dead Trick
Teaching your dog to play dead is best done after the dog has been out playing since the dog will naturally be
tired and want to lie down and rest.
A hyperactive dog will not lie down easily and stay still. So, to get best results, take the dog out for some
time to utilize some of that energy.
Some basic obedience training may be necessary since the dog will
need to be more familiar with other commands that might be used in the course of learning.
The success of any training is dependent on the motivation a dog receives to repeat desired behaviour. Arm
yourself with treats while teaching the dog this trick. Every successful step should be awarded with a treat. This
should be given in a timely manner for the dog to associate the reward (motivator) with the behaviour (trick).
Training Steps For "Playing Dead"
- Have the dog lie down if he is in an upright position. You can use the command “down” to get him on the
ground. Once on the ground mark the position the dog is leaning towards, then, say “play dead” or “bang” and give
the dog a gentle push so that he now lies on that side.
- This position is the “play dead” position, if you do not want to push the dog, then take a treat and hold
it in your hand. Place it near the dog’s nose so that he has a chance to sniff it, next move your hand towards the
back of the dog so that your dog has to turn his head to get it. Then, slowly move your hand up to get the dog to
roll and get to the “play dead” position. You can then reward the dog by giving him a good belly rub and a
- Repeat this process several times until the dog can get to the “play dead” position after the cue
“play dead” or “bang”
- Give the treat every time the dog is able to do the trick, this will serve as a motivator for future
- As your dogs perfects his act of playing dead, you can then teach him how to hold the pause for a longer
period of time.
- With time, the dog should also be able to “play dad” when the cue is given from some distance away.
Gradually reduce the treats till the dog is still able to ‘play dead’ even when there’s no motivator.
This trick takes time and a lot of patience. Teaching your dog in places without many distractions would return
the best results. With time, you can move to other places but this is only after the dog has mastered the trick as
distractions during initial practice will only make the dog lose concentration.
Practice makes perfect. Hence, if you want your dog to master this trick you need to make time to practice with
your dog. Make practice time a fun time where you also get to bond with your dog and build a stronger
relationship with your dog. Be consistent in the verbal cues you give to avoid confusing your dog.