How To Teach Your Dog To Play Dead (8 Steps)

How To Teach Your Dog To Play Dead!

It might prove tough to teach your dog new tricks and especially if you have just taught it several before.

The dog might lack interest, but because you are eager to make sure that your dog is among the super dogs in the vicinity, you need not get tired up, and one of the tricks you must teach the dog is to teach a dog to play dead.

This is a very crucial trick, which, though it might take more time than other previous commands like how to speak, to smile, or to shake hands, is worth the effort.

Following my tips will help you teach your dog to play dead easier and faster.

Things You Need to Train Your Dog

How To Teach Your Dog To Play Dead

#1. Small Treats

Treats are needed in small quantities as they will be used to appreciate the dog when he makes the right move according to your instruction.

#2. A Clicker

You will use a clicker independently or together with the treats to pull the attention of your dog; to notify him that, whatever he has done is the right thing and he should keep up.

#3. Your Fingers

You will need to use your fingers when it comes to that part where you are commanding the dog dead.

You will have to fold the index and the small finger to form the shape of a gun and point it at the dog to indicate to it that, it is time to play dead.

8 Steps to Teach Your Dog to Play Dead

How To Teach Your Dog To Play Dead

#1. Command The Dog to Lie Down from Standing or Sitting

Depending on your dog, it might prefer to lean on one side or the other when he down so makes sure that you take note of which side it has preferred.

You then command it to stay standing or seated, then lie down. As the trick is being practiced, make sure that he lies on the floor from the side which he leaned on.

#2. Guide Your Dog to Lie on His Side

It is recommended that you use your hands, a treat, and a clicker to do this; don’t use a verbal cue.

It is a step that might be demanding, and you will need to be patient with your dog as he learns how to follow your guidance to lie down on his side.

#3. Practice with the Dog from Sitting or Standing to Lie Down on His Side

When the dog can move without hesitating from one position to the other, it will indicate that it is about to master how to play dead.

This is the time you put the use of the clicker in place together with the treat whenever he moves from standing or sitting to the down position and when he moves from the down position to the side-lying.

#4. Time to Add a Verbal Cue

Your dog is now able to move from a sitting or standing position to a lying position and a lying position to a sitting or standing position, he is now ready to play dead.

It is now time to use a verbal cue that you are comfortable using like “bang” and make sure that you are consistent in using the cue because, if you keep on changing the verbal cues, it will confuse the dog.

#5. The Verbal Cue To Be Used More Than the Lure of Food

At this stage, your main objective is to make the dog play dead by responding to the verbal cue without having to be lured by food. It might take time for the trick to work minus food, but you will have to be patient with your dog.

#6. Hand Signal Can Be Put in Place

You can use a hand signal to put emphasis on what you want the dog to do; play dead. Use the shape of a pistol in your hand by folding some fingers, and it might just work miracles.

Though your dog won’t immediately understand what you are up to, you will need to use some verbal cue which you have chosen for this trick.

You can use the visual cue before the verbal cue as dogs are more visual animals than audio.

Once the dog’s grasp what you are demonstrating, you can stop using the verbal cue and concentrate on the visual only.

#7. Concentrate on the Visual Cue

Because you want your dog to play dead in responding to the visual cue, you will have to concentrate on using it more.

Even though the dog will have learned what the visual cue is all about, it will take a lot of patience before it starts to respond to it minus the verbal cue. Do it gradually until it gets to understand. You can use treats here.

#8. Practice the Trick in Different Locations

It doesn’t mean that, now that your dog has learned the command of playing dead, it will automatically respond to it. You need to frequently practice it in different locations for it to sink deep into the dog’s mind.


As I said earlier, this is a tough command to teach your dog to play dead, and it will need that you summon all the patience you can gather to make it work for you.

And once it works, you can comfortably share the same with your friends on social media for them to enjoy the knowledge shared in this article.

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