If your dog won’t roll over, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

So, why won’t my dog roll over? Possible reasons why your dog won’t roll over are that it feels threatened, it has an injury, or that the ground hurts its back.

There are a number of possible reasons why your dog won’t roll onto its back and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Reasons why your dog won’t roll over

Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog will not roll over and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

It feels threatened

Dogs will often roll onto their backs when they are being submissive because exposing their bellies makes them vulnerable and shows they are not a threat. However, if they are feeling threatened, they will often avoid going onto their backs and try to stay in a more reactive position instead. The cause could be that your dog feels threatened. This would be more likely if it avoids going onto its back at certain times such as when another pet is around that it does not like.

Injury

Another possible cause is that it has an injury, especially on its back. This would be more likely if it has stopped rolling onto its back suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being injured such as not wanting to move as much. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Age

The cause might also be that it has not got as much energy as it used to. This would be more likely if it has stopped wanting to roll onto its back gradually as it has gotten older.

Hard ground

Another possible cause is that the hard ground hurts its back. This would be more likely if your dog won’t roll onto its back when it is on hard ground but it will do it when it is on grass.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If it did used to do it

If your dog did roll onto its back before, it would help to consider what else happened when it stopped rolling onto its back. If it stopped rolling onto its back suddenly, it could be due to things such as injury, something causing it to feel threatened or being on hard ground.

If your dog does roll over sometimes

If your dog roll onto its back sometimes, it would help to consider what is different when it does roll onto its back. For example, if it does it when you are outside, it could be the case that it does it on the grass because it is softer.

What to do about your dog not rolling over

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Take it to a vet

If your dog has stopped doing it suddenly or it has been showing signs of being injured, it would help to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out injury as a cause.

Be calm with it

It might also be the case that it has been doing it because it feels threatened. It would help to be calm with it and to get it to behave the way you want with the use of positive reinforcement training.

Positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way. If your dog does not seem to be doing it due to injury or the ground being too hard, you could try training your dog to roll onto its back with positive reinforcement training.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.