How To Train Your Boston Terrier To Roll Over

Roll over is a great trick to teach your Boston Terrier, but they will need to be able to sit and lie down on command before you get started.

This will come in really handy for this training, as these are two steps that you will need to start. Without knowledge of these commands, your Boston is going to find it much more difficult to learn to roll over.

Roll over is not the easiest of commands to teach to a Boston Terrier with a very short attention span, and some Bostons might take longer than others to get the hang of things.

However, if you have the time to dedicate to this training, then we are sure that your Boston will grasp the concept with a little encouragement through the use of treats.

If you are thinking of teaching your Boston to roll over, but you have no idea how to do so, then you have come to the right place.

We are going to tell you exactly how you can teach your Boston Terrier to roll over in this article, and with some time and patience, your Boston will be rolling over in no time. To find out more about teaching your Boston to roll over, just keep reading.

How To Train Your Boston Terrier To Roll Over

Before you get started with your training, you will need to make sure that you have some treats on standby to help move the process along and encourage your Boston to participate.

If you are doing clicker training with your Boston, then you should also have your clicker ready. You should choose a comfortable room to train in that has minimal distractions to help keep your Boston focused and attentive.

To start your training, you should first give your Boston the ‘down’ command. Once your Boston is lying down, it is time to try to get them to roll over.

To do this, you should hold the treat by your Boston’s nose, and then pull the treat from the tip of their nose towards their shoulder. Your pup should turn their head to follow the direction of the treat.

If they do this, you should continue to pull the treat around the Boston’s shoulder, so they will need to lie down on their side in order to reach the treat.

You should then continue to hold the treat near your Boston’s nose, and pull it all the way around, so your Boston is forced to roll all the way over if they want to follow the treat.

If they are able to complete the full roll, then you should give them lots of verbal praise and give them a treat. If you are using a clicker, now is the time to click.

Breaking it Down to Make It Easier

It might sound great when it is put like that, but most Boston Terriers are not going to get it all right on the first try. So, you can break down the training into smaller sections to try and make it more manageable and achievable for your Boston.

To do this, have your Boston lie down. Then, hold a treat near their nose, and move it towards the Boston’s shoulder. If your Boston turns their head, give them the treat.

You should practice this a few times until your Boston is consistently turning their head. After this step, you should stop giving them treats for every head turn.

Now, you should only give the treats for head turns that bring your Boston closest to lying on their side.

After this, you should only give your Boston praise and a treat once they are completely lying down on their side. This will allow you to slowly get them closer to rolling over, and each step brings them closer to this goal.

Once you have managed to get your Boston onto their back, it is pretty simple to get them to move over onto their other side by keeping the treat in front of their nose.

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Add Your Verbal Command

Once you have managed to achieve all of this, and you have practiced multiple times, they should start to consistently roll all the way over every time. Once they have reached this stage in their training, you can start to introduce your verbal command.

Simply hold the treat in front of them, give them the ‘roll over’ command, and lure them to do so with the treat. Practice this several times. 

Once they have gotten the hang of this, you can then stop using the treats to lure them into rolling over, and they should be able to now do this on command. Some Bostons will be able to do this straight away, but others might take some time to think about the command.

Once they have rolled over without the use of a treat, you can reward them with a treat. This will allow them to learn the correct behavior that is expected of them when you give this command.

Problems You May Encounter

If your Boston is finding it quite difficult and making lots of mistakes, then you might be moving forward with your training too quickly.

You should make sure that you are taking the steps slowly and only moving on once they have nailed it completely. Otherwise, they are going to get confused as things are progressing too quickly, before they get the chance to master each step.

You might also find that your Boston is reluctant to offer you their belly by rolling onto their back. If this is the case, then you should make sure that your dog knows that it is a game.

If they offer you their belly, make sure to give them lots of praise and give them a treat, as this will encourage them to keep doing it.

You should also try to keep your training session short and sweet, so you don’t lose their attention. Otherwise, it is likely that both of you will end up getting frustrated as neither of you are getting what you want out of the session.

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.

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