Can your dog play dead ? Playing dead is a great dog trick. It looks impressive when you’re showing off to your friends, but it is actually rather easy to train a dog to do. Teach your dog to play dead, and he can be the life of the party !
What You Need to Train Your Dog to Play Dead
Grab your dog and a handful of his favorite treats, and you are ready to start training your dog to play dead. This is a great trick to train with a clicker.
If you decide to go the clicker training route, be sure to have your clicker handy.
How to Teach Your Dog to Play Dead
1. Start by putting your dog in a down position. If your dog doesn’t lie down on command yet, go back and work on that before you begin training him to play dead.
2. Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose, and slowly pull it over to his side so he’ll have to roll over onto his side to get it. It helps if your dog already knows how to ?roll over, as he’ll already be familiar with the action of rolling onto his side.
3. As soon as your dog is lying on his side, tell him “yes” or “good.” Or, click your clicker. Then, give him a treat.
4. Repeat step two and three several times.
5. After your dog has been able to complete the action a few times, add a cue word and a hand signal. Most people choose to use the verbal command “bang” along with a hand signal command, holding the fingers to look like a gun pointing at the dog. Others prefer to simply use “dead.” Of course, you can choose any word and hand signal you like.
6. Give the chosen cue word and hand signal, then repeat step two and three.
7. Practice this trick several times a day for a few minutes each time.
It won’t be long before your dog falls to his side in response to you “shooting” him with your pointing finger and saying “bang!” Some people like to say a fun phrase, like this: “Would you rather be a cat, or would you rather be dead?” It’s hilarious to see a dog play dead after that one.