How To Teach Your Dog To “Play Dead” In Less Than A Single Day


“Bang! You’re dead.” That’s a game that lots of owners love to teach their dog. However, you may be wondering how to teach the command, playing dead. It is a fairly simple trick to teach but it does take some foundation training before you jump into playing dead. However, once you have those foundations, all dogs can learn this trick in an afternoon.

Foundations Before Playing Dead

With many trick training commands, it is very important that your dog have foundation commands established. If your dog doesn’t understand commands: down, sit, and stay, then now is not the time to teach your dog to play dead.

This command requires three basic commands for your dog to accomplish it successfully.

  • Down: A dog should know the command for down. If he doesn’t know the command for down, then he isn’t going to be able to get into the first position where you need him for this command to work.
  • Stay: While you don’t often use the command stay for playing dead, it is important for your dog to know the concept and the command. If he is not staying on command, then he is not ready for playing dead, where he has to stay still.
  • Release: Not everyone teaches release but all of my commands come with “release” as the command for when they can stop doing a command. When I teach playing dead, I also incorporate the use of a new release command. Either “You’re alive,” or “You’re healed”. I will break down later in this article how to do this.

If your dog is struggling with any commands, wait to get to playing dead. If you rush into training, dogs can learn to break commands and then you will have issues with your dog listening at all.

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