Play Dead Dog Trick

Teach a Dog to Play Dead

Play dead dog trick is one of the most spectacular command, loved both by dogs and people who watch its performing. 

This command refers to entertaining tricks, but it can have a practical function in case of danger. Then a dog can cheat the enemy playing dead and suddenly attack it. Teaching a dog to play dead will not be an unnecessary dog command. 

Many dog owners prefer to teach this command at home, as a dog will have to lie without movements for a minute or more. It’s usually dirty and wet outside, and it may be quite uncomfortable for a dog. There are also situations when dogs refused to perform “play dead” command, because they didn’t understand how is it possible to lie down on the ground, especially when the owner forbade to do this before. 

Training to play dead at home turns out much more effective. Before teaching this dog trick, a dog should already know “Sit!” and “Down!” commands. This will make the training easier. 

This trick looks like that: a dog suddenly falls down as if it dead. It lies in this position without moving until the owner gives a command. For a spectacular performance it’s enough for a dog to play dead for several minutes. But if your goal is a practical use of this command, then a dog should learn to lie for a long time, till it hears a command which brings it back to life in a wonderful way. 

Training Method

So, how to teach a dog to play dead? 

  1. Give a dog the command to lie down, then sit in front of it in the squatting position and show a treat. Then move your hand to the right and a little lower, at the same time hold the dog’s back not letting it stand up. Dog’s natural desire will be to get a treat, but as it will not be able to stand up, it will fall on the side. 
  2.  If your dogs crawls to the treat instead of falling down (there are such skillful pets), you should throw the dog down by yourself. After a dog fell on the side, give it a treat. This is an important thing: a dog should eat the treat in this lying position. Choose small pieces of food or lumps of sugar as a treat for your dog not to choke, a this is a dangerous position to eat something. 
  3. After that introduce “play dead” command. First command a dog to lie down, then clearly and sharply give a command “Play dead!” completing it with the gesture to fall aside. As a result a dog should react not just on the voice command, but also on the hand gesture. Such mutual understanding even without words make this trick more spectacular. 
  4. Now what we should achieve is that a dog shouldn’t get up immediately after eating a treat. After encouraging a dog with a treat, hold it in the previous position with your hand, repeating “play dead”.  
  5. If you started to teach a dog to play dead, you will need a command which will stop the trick. A simple way is “Lie down!” or “Sit!”. The best variant is to teach a dog “Bang!” command, when a pet should jump up and run to you. You can use any verbal command you like. While regular trainings dogs quickly understand what you demand from them. Besides, many dogs like the trick “play dead” and they readily perform they fauvorite command.
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