How To Train A Boston Terrier To Play Dead

Have you ever thought about teaching your Boston Terrier to play dead? You are definitely not alone in this thought.

Playing dead is a great trick for your Boston Terrier to learn, and while it is not an important command like sit or wait, it can provide a great opportunity to teach your Boston something new.

A Bostons version of playing dead.

It can also create a fun game and training experience for you and your Boston. 

It shouldn’t prove to be too difficult to teach your Boston this command, and all you need to get started are some of their favorite treats and some spare time.

If you like to use a clicker for training, then you will also want to have this on hand too. We are going to tell you exactly how to train a Boston Terrier to play dead in this article.

How to Train Your Boston Terrier to Play Dead

If you want to train your Boston to play dead, you are going to need to teach them the right commands.

If this is something that you plan to do, then it might be helpful to take note of which side your Boston prefers to lie down on, as many Bostons will have a particular side that they favor for this command.

If your Boston does prefer laying on one side over the other, then you should aim to use this side in their training, as it will be much easier for them to take part than it would be if you used the other side.

You should also try to choose the right setting for this training to take place. You should do it somewhere that is both comfortable and free from distractions so that you will have your Bostons undivided attention.

You should avoid doing this type of training somewhere like a busy dog park, as your Boston will become distracted by its surroundings and other dogs.

Teach Your Boston Terrier to Lie Down First

If your Boston Terrier is not familiar with the lie-down command, then you are going to need to teach them this first. This is the first step in teaching your Boston to play dead, so it is really important that they get the hang of this before you move on to playing dead.

In order to teach a Boston Terrier how to play dead, they will need to be able to lie down on cue. To do this, you will need to use the following steps:

  • Bend head down
  • Stretch to touch belly to ground
  • Repeat

Once your Boston is in the sitting position, you should put a treat between your fingers, with your palm facing down, and hold your hand in front of their nose.

Next, you should lower your hand straight to the ground. If your Boston moves to bend towards the ground, you should mark their good behavior with a clicker or verbal praise and give them their reward.

You should then repeat this step at least 5 times.

The next thing that you will need to do is ask your Boston to sit again. Now, put another treat between your fingers and place your palm facing down, and lower your hand straight down from their nose and then pull it back towards yourself.

Once their belly is touching the ground, you should mark and reward their behavior again, and proceed to repeat the process 5 more times.

You can then progress to repeating the previous step, but without a treat in your hand. If your Boston displays the correct behavior, you should mark and reward them when their belly touches the ground.

Keep practicing this for another 5 times before moving on to the next step. 

Once you have achieved and practiced all of the above with your Boston, you should add a verbal cue by saying the word ‘down’ and lowering your empty palm to the ground. If they get it right, mark their good behavior, give them a treat, and repeat this step 5 more times.

The last step would be to fade out your hand signal. To do this, you should ask your Boston to sit and then say down. You should give them time to think about what they are doing, and if they lie down, be sure to give them a treat and lots of praise.

If they don’t get it, show your hand signal instead of repeating the verbal cue. When their belly is on the ground, mark and reward.

Some Boston Terriers will pick up on this straight away, but others might need a little bit more time and practice. Once they have perfected the lying down command, you are ready to move on to teaching them to play dead.

Teach Your Boston Terrier To Play Dead

The first thing that you should do is give your Boston the down command using the verbal command and hand signal that your dog is familiar with from their previous training. [Learn some Boston Terrier Training Tips Here]

You will then need to coax your Boston onto their side by holding a treat between your first two fingers a few inches above their nose. You should bring the treat to their side, coaxing them to roll over on to their side to continue looking at the treat.

Once your Boston is lying on the correct side, you should reward them with a treat and verbal praise. You can also use a clicker if this is something that you do in your training.

You will then need to repeat the action several times until they start to get the hang of it. Don’t forget to reward your Boston every time they lay on the right side. Next, it is time to add your verbal command and visual cue.

When your Boston knows that you are asking them to lie on their side, you should add your verbal cue. You can get creative with this, or you can simply tell them to play dead.

One of the favorites among many is the ‘bang’ command used with a gun-like hand signal. If you don’t want to do this, a simple ‘play dead’ command will work just as well. Repeat the process until they get it right.

Watch This YouTube Video To See – How To Teach Your Boston To Play Dad – In Action!

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

Recent Posts