Fetch game is an interesting adventure when you play it with your dog. It is easy as throwing an object and having your dog chase it. The dog goes after the object and brings it back to you. Sure, it is amazing!
But, how do I teach my dog to fetch? To many people, fetch game is something that naturally happens to dogs. However, it is not the case, you have to teach your dog how to do it, or at least some of it.
Teaching your dog how to fetch is easy with our 6 teaching steps. Scroll on to learn all that you need to know.
Guide your dog to sit
Like in all the other teachings, your dog has to understand the sitting position. If your dog does not have a good understanding of the sit command, you have to teach her. Start by asking her to sit.
Before you move to the next step, make sure that she is calmly sitting next to you. By doing so, the dog understands the rules of the game. Therefore, it can’t jump on you to try to get the ball or object before you throw it.
Send the dog out to get the object
After ascertaining that the dog is in the best sitting position, throw the ball and issue a ‘fetch’ command. First, you should throw the ball just a small distance. Dogs have instincts. In most cases, their instincts will tell them to chase the ball. If so, you have succeeded in this part of the training.
Fetching might fail to come naturally to your dog. If so, first focus on teaching it how to play. The best way to achieve this is by use of treats. Show the dog an interest of ball and if she reciprocates, offer treats and praises.
Then, motivate her in running after and picking an object before giving her a reward. If she doesn’t seem to understand, through the ball and run after it yourself.
While running, you should be commanding her to run. Dogs are good observers. In the end, she will understand that you need her to run after the object.
Call her back
You need to be very keen on this step. Reason? Together with the next step, they are the most important part of the fetch game. In this place, most people run into trouble. If your dog cannot come back to drop the ball, then, that is not the game of fetch. Surely, you don’t want to play the game of chase.
Unfortunately, that is what you play if your dog can’t come back with then object.
How do I make my dog return with the ball? It might be a question troubling you. You don’t have to worry. Just make sure your dog has a strong understanding of ‘come’ command. You should ensure this before even starting.
After throwing the ball, your dog will go after it, then, issue a ‘come’ command. However, be sure not to necessarily ‘command’ her. Using a happy voice, giving her praises, and patting your legs will encourage her to come back to you.
My dog is having a problem with this step, what can I do? It is simple! Just shorten the distance that you throw the ball. When starting, it is advisable to throw a few feet away.
You can start to increase the distance gradually as your dog masters the step. Before moving to the next distance, make sure that your dog can consistently bring the ball back.
Use ‘drop it’ command
Convincing the dog to return the ball to you after having it in its mouth it’s challenging. However, if your dog knows ‘drop it’ command, it is easy. As already said, you should teach your dog different commands before starting anything.
‘Drop it’ command is just one of them. Dogs respond positively to praises and rewards. Be sure to shower her with tons of praises after dropping the ball.
What do I do if my dog fails to release the ball? Okay, you should know the tricks, treats are the most worthwhile tricks. Command and treat should be done simultaneously. As you give a ‘drop it’ command, show her the treat. Common sense dictates that the dog will drop the ball in the pursuit of the treat.
Don’t release the treat until you have the ball in your possession. By so doing, your dog will know that she exchanged the ball for a treat. Make sure you have more extra treats. As soon as you throw the ball, show your dog a treat.
Instead of treats, you can use another ball to make your dog drop the ball. As soon as she returns the first ball, show her the other ball you are holding in your hand. Naturally, a dog will drop the ball to go for the second ball. However, when the dog refuses to let go of the ball, treat method is the best option.
Add extra motivation
How do I encourage her to give chase even more? Simple! Hold her back after throwing the ball.
Naturally, she will tag against you. Mostly, if you offer verbal encouragement when still holding her back. Then, release her, she will rocketeer towards the object.
Use object that your dog likes
This is the most important rule of the game. Unfortunately, most people don’t think that it is important. Common sense dictates that your dog can’t chase after something unless she actually likes it.
If you are not sure what your dog likes, start by experimenting with different objects. You will find one that your dog likes.
Your dog might not pick the idea of fetch right away. Don’t be troubled it’s normal. As long as you follow the above 6 steps correctly, she will pick the idea over time. You only need to be consistent. Over time, your dog will become a fetch fanatic. Practice a little every day until your dog masters the art. Success!