Roll Out the Red Carpet

With our Circus Dog Class only a week away and everyone getting excited for the big event under the big top, we thought it the perfect time to introduce a simple but fun trick. Rolling out the red carpet is easy for your dog to learn, but still works their body and brain for a good physical and mental exercise. Plus, you will dazzle and entertain all your friends and family with this trick, which is what the circus is all about! Ready to learn how to roll out the red carpet?

A dog with front paws down on a mat during Circus Dog class.

Who’s it for?

This trick is great because it’s beneficial to dogs of all ages, breeds, and abilities. Rolling out the red carpet can teach a puppy confidence and introduce them to new and interesting objects. It’s great for older dogs because it’s easy on the joints and doesn’t require a lot of physical activity or exertion. Depending on your dog’s breed, it can also be a fun way to switch up routine and allow your pup to interact with something either smaller or bigger than them. Your dog also doesn’t require a lot of previous training!

How’s it work?

Rolling out the red carpet is easy!

  1. Start with getting either a yoga mat, roll of wrapping paper, an actual piece of carpet rolled up, or something similar that can be rolled and unrolled.
  2. Lay it on the ground and, while your dog is distracted or contained in other space, layout some tasty treats in a straight line going down the opened mat.
  3. Roll the yoga mat back up with the treats inside it, leaving a small flap opened at the end with a single treat exposed.
  4. Guide your dog to the now rolled-up mat and allow them to get the first treat. Their nose should detect the scent of the other treats trapped inside. Allow your dog to sniff out and find the treats by pushing the mat with their nose. If your dog seems stuck, guide them to the treats inside by unrolling the mat slightly until they catch on.
  5. Repeat the process until your dog feels confident enough the push the mat with their nose without any guidance from you.

Eventually as the trick goes on and your dog gets comfortable with it, you can add fewer and fewer treats until your dog is trained to do it on cue. Once they have the trick down, assign a word or phrase to it like “roll out the carpet” or “time to roll,” and make sure to reward your dog after each completion!

What else can my dog do?

Something else beneficial about teaching your dog to roll out the red carpet is that it can be applied to other training techniques. For example, once your dog has the trick down you can start using different objects that roll.

  1. Find an empty bottle, a piece of PVC pipe, a toilet paper roll, or anything else that can easily roll when pushed.
  2. Place a treat directly in front of the object and allow your dog to sniff it out and grab it. As they do, they should bump the object with their nose and slightly move it.
  3. Quickly place another treat in front of the object and allow your dog to get it. Every time they pick up the treat they will bump or roll the object with their nose.
  4. Eventually, your dog will learn that as the object rolls, treats will appear in its path. This will train them to want to push the object with their nose in search of goodies.
  5. Soon, just like with the yoga mat, you won’t have the provide treats and you can assign a cue to the trick like “roll it.”

Rolling out the red carpet is a fun and simple trick that keeps your dog entertained, works their body and brain, and helps you and your dog bond in an easy and carefree environment. It’s a great party trick to show off to your friends and family and will prepare your dog for Circus Class, should they want to enroll. Before you know it, your pup will be a shining star under the big top!