How To Teach a Dog To Fetch
Playing with your dog is mandatory if you want to keep him happy and healthy. Many dogs will enjoy fetching the first time they give it a go, while others might be a little confused. Whereas some will adapt on the way, others won't be able to figure out how to bring back the toys without a little bit of the human touch they all crave for.
If playing is a childhood activity for humans, dogs will need to play throughout their entire lives. Through playing and exercising, they will learn how to socialize with others, develop a personality, and establish a healthy lifestyle.
In short, dogs need to consume their energy by playing through various interactive activities.
Why should you teach your dog to fetch?
As a dog owner, you should know that fetching is an essential activity for a dog’s playing routine. Moreover, it will strengthen the bond between owners and their canine buddies.
Some people give up easily on fetching if their dog doesn’t seem very interested during the first attempts. This shouldn’t be a reason to give up yourself, given that fetching is a recreative and healthy activity, easy to put in practice, and manageable for both humans and their pets.
Why do dogs love to retrieve objects?
Fetching is a natural canine behavior that was first noticed when wolves started bringing their prey back to their families. Dogs act the same way. They just love to bring back things for you. For them, fetching feels like an instinctive responsibility, but it is also a performance that brings them an intense amount of joy.
Can any dog learn how to fetch?
It would be unfair to say that all dogs are the same. In fact, dogs are extremely different depending on their temperament, intelligence, appetite, and of course, their willingness to play.
For example, LABRADORS ARE THE BIGGEST FANS OF FETCHING. They could do it all day long! Whether you throw them the most amazing ball specially designed for fetching, or an old shoe, they will engage with the same amount of happiness and excitement.
However, the breed is not an absolute criterion. Some dogs don’t enjoy any kind of activity that involves effort, running, or even focusing on one thing for too long.
Given these aspects, one thing is for sure: dogs adore spending time with their beloved humans. While some may be reluctant to fetching, others will find it the most enjoyable activity there is.
Who knows? Maybe your pet will become famous once he starts to fetch toys, just like these FAMOUS PETS THAT HAVE MORE SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS THAN YOU!
Which toy is best for fetching?
Before you start fetching with your buddy, you must find a toy that can entertain him. However, to convince your dog to play with a toy, he will first have to become curious and interested in it.
Some dogs are immediately attracted to the toy’s shape, the way it looks, smells or rolls around. At the same time, others will look at it with indifference, no matter what.
In other words, your dog can be satisfied with A CLASSIC BALL, or he may need a more complex toy with a softer texture or a specific smell to trigger his desire to play. However, to discover which toy will satisfy him enough, you should prepare a few options before starting the teaching.
Be the first one to play with it and show him that you are already very much interested in it. If he becomes curious, let him smell and touch the toy and wait to see what happens next. Also, give your pet some time to go through this process. If you start fetching right after he meets the toy, things are probably not going to have a successful outcome.
Don’t worry if he will not enjoy it for the first time. Remember that you’ve got other toys available! In most cases, puppies are the ones who become easily attracted to new toys, but this is not always the rule.
As soon as you two have found the perfect toy, the difficult part is over!
What will you need to teach a dog how to fetch?
If you’ve failed to find an efficient way to teach your dog how to fetch, we are here to help!
THINGS YOU WILL NEED:
- Treats: Your dog will need rewards to understand that he is doing a great job.
- Toys: Use a ball or any other toy he might like, and always keep more than one around.
- Patience: Arm yourself with a lot of it.
Once your dog has become interested in a toy and is willing to play, the next step is to have him bring it back to you.
Remember not to throw the ball or the chosen toy too far in the first attempts. Otherwise, he may get confused and will drop the game quickly.
Maybe it is hard to believe, but if you try to teach your dog how to fetch indoors, it could turn out to be more efficient. A familiar place could make things much easier for your doggo.
So, you throw the toy and wait to see what happens. If your dog picks it up, you should immediately go in the opposite direction to make him understand that the game does not stop there.
Thus, you initiate a chase game that will definitely engage him too.
There are several possible situations:
A. If he leaves with the toy but loses it on his way to you, don’t stop moving away from him. He may not reach you with the toy, but he will understand that you are the next destination immediately after grabbing it. By repeating this step a few times, he will understand what you are trying to communicate.
B. If he grabs the toy, holds on to it, but starts running uncontrollably, you should run in the other direction. The farther you go, the more he will be intrigued to follow you.
When you stop, he will do the same. Ask him nicely to give you back the toy and wait for his response. If he is not willing to give it up, just pick another one and repeat the whole process.
C. If he manages to grab the toy after you throw it and bring it back, but not necessarily to you, take the toy from where he left it and throw it again. To make him understand how it should be done, give him treats every time he performs a step correctly. In this case, he will receive the treat only when the toy finally reaches you.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that how you teach your dog to fetch must be a repetitive process, based on progressive learning and rewards for each well-done move.
After your dog manages to do it the first time, don’t rely on him to succeed every time. There will be cases when he won’t be able to focus on what he has learned, and you will need to start over with some of the steps, but the fun behind it deserves all the effort put in!
Does your dog know how to fetch? We love to hear something about your first experience and how you managed to teach your dog how to fetch!