Teach Your Dog To “Fetch”

Fetch is a great command to teach your dog. Not only does it enforce good listening skFetchills, but it also a great way to play with your dog and encourage them to get exercise all at the same time. Your puppy will have a lot of energy to burn, and fetch is going to be a good healthy outlet for all of that energy to be spent.

Puppies and dogs love to chase and return balls (especially tennis balls). It doesn’t really seem like this is a skill that needs much to be taught, but you would be surprised how a little human direction can really help their behavior.

Imagine these two scenarios.

Game 1: You throw the ball and your dog starts to bark, runs in circles, runs over to the ball, barks at the ball, picks it up in their mouth, runs, drops the ball, picks it up again, runs over to you, and then makes you wrestle it out of their mouth.

Game 2: You throw the ball, your dog runs straight to the ball, picks it up, runs right back to you, and drops it at your feet.

I don’t know about you, but I like Game 2 better. Sure they are similar, but one is much more controlled and enjoyable than the other. You eliminate all of the distraction, detours, and misbehaving.Air Kong Tennis Fetch Stick Rope Toy for Dogs (Large)

Getting Started

  1. Sit on the floor with a ball or stick in one hand and a treat in the other hand.
  2. Throw the ball a very short distance, where you can actually reach the ball in front of you.
  3. Encourage your puppy to go after the ball
  4. When your puppy picks the ball up, take it out of their mouth, pat his head and say “good dog” or another phase for praise
  5. After you take the ball, give your pup a treat

NOTE: If you can’t get the ball out of your dog’s mouth easily try bribing him with treat. Once he drops the ball, praise him, and give him the treat

Practice these first beginning steps several times a day for a few days or a week.

Moving to the Next Step

  1. Sit on the floor with a ball in one hand and a treat in the other hand.
  2. Throw the ball a very short distance, where you can actually reach the ball in front of you
  3. Encourage your puppy to go after the ball
  4. When your puppy picks the ball up, take it out of their mouth, and this time say “thank you”. After you take the ball, give your pup a treat.

You will find that in a few weeks your puppy will realize that you want them to drop or give you the ball because of your cue words “thank you.”

Increasing the Distance

  1. Sit on the floor with a ball in one hand and a treat in the other hand.
  2. Throw the ball a few feet further than you have been.
  3. Encourage your puppy to go after the ball
  4. When your puppy picks the ball up, take it out of their mouth, and say “thank you”. After you take the ball, give your pup a treat.
  5. If your puppy does not bring the ball back to you do not go after it. You have to keep in mind that you want your puppy to bring the ball back to you, not the other way around.

Drop It

  1. Sit on the floor with a ball in one hand and a treat in the other hand.
  2. Throw the ball several feet in front of you.
  3. At this point your puppy should not need encouragement, they should naturally go after the ball.
  4. When your puppy picks the ball up, and brings it back to you, say “drop it” and tap your finger on the floor in front of you. If they drop it, give them a treat. If you need to take it out of their mouth, place it on the floor itself, and as your hand is moving in the downward motion say “drop it.” Do not give the dog the treat this time.
  5. Repeat your steps.

Fetch

  1. Sit on the floor with a ball in one hand and a treat in the other hand.
  2. As you begin to throw the ball say “fetch.”
  3. When your puppy picks the ball up, and brings it back to you, say “drop it” and tap your finger on the floor in front of you, if they have not dropped it on their own.

At this point in the training process, you can eliminate the treat and stick to praise for a job well done. Trust me, your puppy will love the game of fetch must better than the treats.

Once your pup gets really good at the game of fetch, you can move it outside to a safe area, such as your backyard or a dog park.

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