Do you throw your dogs toy ball for him to fetch and he sits there, tongue hanging out and staring at you. Then you point at the ball and he looks at your finger? Playing fetch with your dog is one of the requirements of dog ownership. You have fun interacting with your pet and your dog gets some much needed exercise. It’s not hard to teach your dog the fine art of fetching. Here are some tips.
It is always easiest to start your training in the house. The house has less distraction for the dog and it is easier to stay in control of the dog.
Start out using one of the dog’s favorite toys. Gather together several of the dogs personal toys, but start with the favorite.
Stand at one end of a long hallway or large room. Throw the toy. Usually if it’s one of the toys that the dog plays with frequently, they will go pick it up. They won’t necessarily bring it back, but they will pick it up. If they do, go to them and reward them. Each stage is important.
If they do not pick it up, toss another of their toys. Keep tossing toys and they will eventually go get one of them. If not, YOU go to the toy pile and pick one up and play with it. Sit in the floor and play on their level. Your dog will come to you. Give the dog the toy and reinforce by giving a treat. Eventually, through several days of tossing, your dog will go to the first toy that you throw.
Having gotten that far, start to encourage the dog to bring the toy back to you. They will not at first. Over time, they will get closer and closer and eventually bring it back. Do not reward the dog for dropping the toy in front of you. Reinforce by treating the dog for holding it and waiting until you take it from them. This will take several attempts and some patience but the dog will learn.
Always remember to use one of the dog’s favorite toys and always reward correct behavior!
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