How To Teach A Dog To Play Dead

While learning how to teach a dog to play dead isn’t exactly a lifesaving skill, it could serve as a pretty cool party skill. 

How To Teach A Dog To Play Dead
Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

That said, much like teaching your dog any other skill, teaching your dog to play dead requires a whole lot of patience. Now let’s get to learning how to teach.

Steps To Teaching Your Dog To Play Dead

To teach your dog to play dead, you’ll have to start with teaching the basic skills (if you haven’t already) before proceeding to the actual playing dead teaching.

Teaching The Basic Skills

Before teaching your dog something as ambitious as how to play dead, your dog must already have the very basic skills.

Some of these include understanding basic commands and knowing how to sit and lie on command.

If your dog doesn’t have these basic skills, teaching said basic skills is where you need to start.

Teach To Sit

First off, you could take on the challenge of teaching your dog to sit. For the entire training, you’ll be needing their favorite treat for encouragement and reward.

So, first off, you want to press your dog gently into the sitting position while saying the word ‘sit’. And when they do sit, reward them with a bite of their favorite treat

Do this a couple of times a day until your dog is able to associate the command with the action without needing assistance from you.

Be careful not to overwork your dog. A training session of between 10 to 15 minutes, 3 times a day should be enough. You could even incorporate this training into your everyday lives.

Teach To Lie

When your dog has mastered the act of sitting on command, they are ready to move on to lying.

So, the same way you assisted at the beginning by pressing gently on their lower back, you’ll be assisting them again but this time, pressing gently on their shoulders to get them to the lying position.

Of course, you’ll be accompanying this with a verbal cue (people usually use ‘down’) or some sort of visual cue if they are hearing impaired.

You’ll also need to reward them once they are able to get to that position.

With time, you’ll have to allow them to lie on their own when you give the verbal or visual cue.

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Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

Teaching Your Dog To Play Dead

Once your dog has been able to learn these basic skills, teaching them to play dead won’t be so different or difficult.

So, from a standing position, you want to get them to a sitting and then a lying position. Now, a dog’s dead position is usually on its side.

So, from the down position, you’ll need to help him change positions to his side. Practice this procedure from sit to down to side and then from down to side.

The idea is for them to be able to play dead from whatever position they are on. Now, once your dog is getting the hang of switching positions, introduce the prompter. 

Whatever word or hand signal you decide to go for is fine, provided your dog is able to associate said cue with the action you are looking for.

Treats will also be of good help at this stage as a reward. In addition to that, because your dog will be lying on their side, you could also reward them with belly rubs.

As your dog gets better at playing dead, you’ll need to switch positions and locations so that your dog does not associate a particular location to the command and action.

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Once your dog is able to learn this neat little trick, you and your dog could be the life of the party. However, be careful not to force anything.

Take your time and allow your dog learn at their pace; especially considering that it isn’t exactly a life saving skill.

Now watch this quick demonstration video:

How To Teach A Dog To Play Dead — FAQs

What Is The Hardest Trick To Teach Your Dog?

There is no one trick that is the hardest trick to teach a dog. The difficulty of a trick basically depends on how wild your idea is.

For instance, if you want to teach your dog a common trick like shake, that wouldn’t be so difficult. However, if you want to teach your dog something as wild as playing the piano (which a good number of humans never learn), you know you have your work cut out for you.

What Are The 7 Basic Dog Commands?

The seven(7) basic dog commands you want to teach your dog are:

  • Sit
  • Come
  • Down
  • Off (that is to get off something they shouldn’t be on).
  • Stay
  • Heel (you’ll need this if your dog is walking faster than you and you need to rein him in)
  • No (telling to stop doing something).

You could use any words you want but those are the 7 basic ideas you want to teach your dog.

What Are Unique Tricks To Teach A Dog?

Playing dead is a cool trick to teach your dog; it’s a great party trick if you ask us. You could also teach your dog to play the piano or even dance.

Some other unique tricks you could teach your dog include kissing, skateboarding, handstands, sing and even say a prayer.

For unique tricks that could really come in handy, try teaching your dog to open and close the door or to use the toilet.

What Is The First Trick To Teach Your Dog?

With tricks, you could basically start anywhere, provided it is something simple like a handshake. And the reason we say start simple is to give your dog the hang of doing tricks.

What Age Is Best To Start Puppy Training?

You could start as early as 7 or 8 weeks to teach your dog basic commands. However, be sure that you are not using any sort of electronic collar at this point if you intend to use them at all.

Most dog obedience training outfits won’t admit your dog until it is about 6 months old, though. And it is at this age you can start to use electronic collars if you want to.

What Is The First Thing You Should Train Your Puppy

The first thing you want to teach your dog is to come when you call. This way you can be sure that your dog knows how to get to you wherever he is.

Some other people will say to start with teaching your dog to sit, as it is a way of getting a puppy (who is usually easily excitable) to be still.

Either of those two can come first with the other being taught immediately after.

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