How to Teach a Dog to Play Dead? 5 Tips to Do It Right!

How to Teach a Dog to Play Dead?
How to Teach a Dog to Play Dead?

Are you trying to train your dog to play tricks? Do you want to know simple techniques to make them listen to you? Try our easy tips on how to do it, right here!

Isn’t it awesome to see your dog playing tricks? What’s more amazing is the fact that you are the one who trained them to do it! The pride and happiness to be able to let your dog listen to you and understand your command is priceless indeed.

Have you tried the trick, “drop dead?” If not, are you interested to know how to teach a dog to play dead?

Stay with me, as I give you simple tips to teach you the techniques on how to do it!


What do you need when training a dog?

What is the tool you use to catch your dog’s attention? Some use clickers, sticks, whistles or nothing at all. Just a snap of the fingers or the firm tone of the owner’s voice, do the trick.

Whatever you use, that suits fine. It is what your dog is used to, to follow your commands.

How to Teach a Dog to Play Dead?

Favorite treats!

Of course, do not ever forget special treats. Treats are important when training dogs. It is a strong motivation for your dog to carry on. An award usually keeps dogs on the move!

Enough Space

Training a dog needs space. It is comfortable to play with your dog when there is enough area to run around. Dogs are highly energetic. They love to run, jump and play! Look for an appropriate place where there is no destruction for you and your dog.


Who can survive a training without water? What more for our little buddy full of thick fur? Water is essential in any dog training. Dog easily thirst when active. Make sure that there is prepared clean water for him to drink anytime.

Are you set?

If you have all the things needed, then what left now is that you strongly believe you can do it! ! Teaching a dog a certain trick does not only need tools to make him do it.

A dog owner who is determined to teach his dog must be prepared emotionally and physically. And not only that, you need to give your dog your full attention and time. If you are confident that you possess all of what I have mentioned, then, certainly you are ready!

What do you need when training a dog?


Teaching your dog is not an overnight sensation. You must be open to the fact that it is a lifetime commitment. Each dog, like us, is unique. They have different behavior and pace of learning. As an owner or trainer, you should have with you a lot of patience and understanding.

Shall we start? Let’s go!

Reminder: Teaching your dog how to play dead needs the basic commands. It would be easier and faster for your dog to learn tricks if they are already familiar with the basic commands. The “down” and “stay” commands are important in this training. If not, I recommend starting on those first before proceeding further to tricks.

Dogs who have undergone Obedience Training are perfect to move forward to tricks.

How to teach my dog to play dead?

Here are the steps you need to do it right. The steps are so simple; your dog will get to master it in no time!

  • Play with your dog for a start. Both of you needs the warm-up emotionally and physically. Connecting with your dog first is important. It brings a sense of calmness and at the same time playfulness.
  • When your dog is already in an active state, that means he is ready to play. Trust has been established so for you, it is a sign to start.
  • Prepare your treat bag and start your commands.

It is training time!


Start by putting your dog in a down position.

How to Teach a Dog to Play Dead? 5 Tips to Do It Right!

Say the command, “Down!”

When your dog is already in down position, soothe your dog’s tummy to calm him down.

If your dog does not listen to you the first time, do not give up. You must perfect the down command first before moving on to the next. Sometimes, it needs more time but you will get there.


The “roll over” command

How to Teach a Dog to Play Dead

Slowly move it towards his side, prompting him to move to the direction wherein he needs to roll over to get it.

Repeat this exercise until your dog masters the “roll over” command. Do not forget to give him the treat when he perfects the trick.


Repeat step 1 and 2 several times

Repeat step 1 and 2 several times until your dog is used to the commands. You can use your clicker in each command or whatever it is that you and your dog is comfortable with.


Sleep-Stay Command

How to Teach a Dog to Play Dead

The stay command should be easy for him if he is familiar with it already. Some dogs are easily destructed. If your dog raised his head within the exercise, just push it gently back on the floor or ground.

Give the command, “Stay!”

Extend the stay position for a few seconds to a minute. Then stand up, give the release command and give him a treat. Do not forget to give your releasing command, cue word or hand signal. You can use any word or signal as you please.

When your dog is already at ease with the stay command, you can move on and introduce the “play dead” or “sleep” command.

Practice Makes Perfect

  • Practice the commands several times a day. You can do it within your playing time until your dog masters it.
  • If your dog jumps back up quickly before you say the releasing command, you can delay giving the treat after he rolls to his side.
  • Be sensitive to your dog’s pace. If he commits mistakes along the way, maybe you are too fast in teaching. Go back to the first commands, then begin to move ahead slowly.
  • Always keep your cool and consistency. If you notice your dog is already tired, you can call it a day and praise him for a wonderful performance. Give it another try the next day.


Some of the dog owners are not comfortable with the word “dead.” If you are one of those, we completely understand. You can try another suitable word to use that sounds nice. Maybe, “sleep” is easier, or the word “bang” is much more fun. Or, is it?

I hope we have helped you on how to teach a dog to play dead. If your dog has mastered it with flying colors, I am sure you are all grin right now. Go ahead and let him play the trick along with your friends. It would make it more fun!

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