Can Bulldogs Roll Over? And How to Train Them in 7 Steps


A bulldogs awkward body structure can make you think that they have many limitations with tricks that can be performed. This is only partly true. Although a bulldog is typically stocky and stout, they are still capable of performing many tricks quite well. No, they won’t be doing backflips while catching a frisbee but don’t let that deter you from training your bulldog to reach for the stars. One thing I constantly hear, “Can Bulldogs Roll Over?” A bulldog can learn to roll over with practice, patience, and constant praise for its efforts. When a bulldog recognizes your support and efforts to help it be successful it is more willing to learn this trick.
Bulldogs are known for being stubborn and difficult to motivate when the purpose is not clear. But if you start training your bulldog at a young age and are persistent, you will be amazed at what your bulldog can do. Bulldogs enjoy their close relationship with their family and recognize if something is important to you it can become important to them.
The key to successfully training your bulldog is that it may take some time. Bulldogs are very intelligent but being motivated to learn this new trick can be an obstacle. A bulldog needs to understand the importance of completing this task to want to put effort into learning how to roll over. If you demonstrate a willingness to work through the tough times and constantly shower your bulldog with praise through the process, you will be able to teach your bully to roll over.

Steps to Teach a Bulldog to Roll Over

One simple yet fun trick is rolling over. A bulldog that can roll over will draw happy praise from family and bystanders alike. It is commonly thought that bulldogs can not roll over but that is a misconception. Yes their legs are short and their bodies are a little more bulky. It can easily be assumed that a bulldog wouldn’t be able to complete this task.
Although a bulldog may take longer to learn how to roll over, they are fully capable of doing so. If they can sleep on their backs and flip back over when they wake, a bulldog can most certainly perform this trick to roll over.
Note: Before teaching your bulldog how to roll over, make sure you are in a pleasant mindset. You need to be patient, praise small wins along the way, and bring treats.
To get started your bulldog should know the command “down.” If not, take some time to train your bulldog this fundamental activity. Once your bulldog is able to grasp this first step you will be ready to start.
  1. In an open space either indoors or outdoors, command your bulldog to perform the ‘down‘ position.
  2. While kneeling beside your bulldog place a dog treat into your hand. Hold the treat near the bulldogs nose, along the side of the head.
  3. Now move your hand from the bulldogs nose towards his shoulder. This gesture is motioning your bulldog to roll over onto the side of its shoulder. Repeat this motion until your bulldog is enticed to roll to its side. Each time your bulldog successfully completes this action shower it with praise and reward it with a treat.  Once your bulldog has completed this step several times, move on to the next step.
  4. With your bulldog flat on its side, move your hand while holding a treat from the bulldogs shoulder to its backbone. This motion is leading your bulldog to roll over, resting on its backside. Repeat this motion until your bulldog has completed this step. Continue to praise and give a treat when performed correctly.
  5. Move your hand while holding a treat to the other side, motioning your bulldog to roll from its back to the other shoulder and then onto its stomach in the down position.
  6. Once your bulldog has performed this complete routine, repeat. Continue to praise your bulldog and begin adding the command ‘Roll Over.’
  7. As your bulldog begins to master this trick, reduce the hand motions and treats gradually. Focus on your bulldog performing this trick based primarily off the command ‘Roll Over.’ Still praise your bulldog and reward with a treat for completing the task.
Your bulldog will require patience and praise to successfully learn this trick. Understand that it can take some time to train a bulldog, even several attempts to do so. As long as you are having fun and showing your full support your bulldog will be more inclined to do its best. Once accomplished both you and your bulldog can have a sense of a job well done.
Continue to perform the ‘Roll Over’ trick as a routine to keep it fresh in your bulldogs mind and become more natural. This trick will become natural and your bulldog can perform on cue.

Other Teachable Tricks

Your bulldog is now on its way to mastering the trick of rolling over. Whats next? There are many simple commands and tricks that should be learned by any bulldog, especially while in its youth. A few tricks to get you started are as follows:
  • Shake Hands
  • High Five
  • Sit
  • Lay Down
  • Stay or Wait
  • Stand (Yes, some bulldogs can stand)
  • Fetch a ball, stick
  • And more!
Your bulldog can learn many of these simple commands which is great for their personal, physical, and mental health. Learning new tricks is a great way to build their confidence in their personal abilities. Its exciting and fun to see what your bulldog is capable of learning.
The Mount Everest of any trick your bulldog can learn though is how to skateboard. When a bulldog learns how to skateboard, people just can’t get enough. Public attention is immediately captivated and it is difficult to withhold a smile or pure joy from bystanders as they see a happy bulldog roll by on a skateboard. If you and your bully are brave enough to venture into something fun and unique, read this post “How to Train a Bulldog to Skateboard in 10 Steps“. Not everyone can say they have a skateboarding bulldog or any dog breed for that matter. This will definitely let your bulldog stand out from the rest of the crowd.
But before jumping all in to teach your bulldog to skateboard, I would first recommend to build a foundation based off the above mentioned tricks and commands. You want your bulldog to understand commands and directives. These simple lessons, beyond teaching your bulldog to rollover, can have a positive influence in their lives. Your bulldog will be more capable at conquering difficult tricks when it is well trained and focused.

Bulldog Conclusion

Don’t let your bulldog be complacent with the same old routine. Working together to learn tricks is healthy for your relationship. It allows both the owner and bulldog to draw closer together through hard work and perseverance. Plus, when you experience the ups and downs with each other a stronger bond can be forged. This exploration of trial and error to build talents and abilities will positively change both you and your bulldog’s life.
Continue to push one another to learn something new to keep the mind active as well as the body. New tricks help to stretch your bulldogs intelligence and work ethic. Instead of appearing lazy, your bulldog will be able to show off to family or at the dog park what it can do. Bulldogs can get a bad rap but that doesn’t mean your bulldog has to fit that roll.
Your bulldog has the intelligence, tenacity, and bred with the ability to both learn and try new things. Exercise the use of these genetic abilities. The more you do, the more you unlock with the potential of your bulldog. Don’t let  your bulldog be a common couch potato but stretch these talents. Your bulldog will learn how to roll over as you have fun in the journey and learn what can be obtained through hard work. Enjoy the process of teaching your bulldog this and many other tricks. You both are fully capable of doing this.

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