Teaching a dog to fetch is a great way to pass some time with your furry friend. And teaching him is much easier than you might think. Especially if he is a puppy or is a particularly playful dog. Once you have read this you should be able to teach your dog to fetch balls, sticks and other items and drop them at your feet.
How to teach your dog to fetch
Like anything you try to teach your dog to do you have to understand that he doesn’t know what you want him to do. He has no idea why you keep throwing that ball away and has no idea what ‘fetch’ means.
You need to teach him what fetch means and what you want him to do.
Some dogs are naturally good at this and pick it up straight away, they naturally like to chase things and pick them up in their mouths. Some dogs simply won’t chase anything or do chase but won’t bring it back. Don’t panic you can usually get most dogs to fetch eventually.
Start by grabbing a tennis ball and making a small slit in the side of it…..An inch should do….Then let your dog watch as you put a few of his favorite treats inside the tennis ball. By now he will probably have his eyes fixed on the ball.
Toss the ball a couple feet in front of you and encourage him to come back to you. If he brings the ball back to you straight away then lucky you. The more likely scenario is that he either sits and tries to chew it open or he runs off with it.
If he runs off with it, don’t chase him. Lure him back to you with the promise of treats or run away from him, encouraging him to chase you, just like when you were training puppy recall. As he runs back to you say ‘fetch’ and when he reaches you, if he still has the ball, give it a squeeze and let one of the treats out. Keep repeating this and it won’t take him long to realize that when he brings the ball to you he gets a nice treat.
How long does it take to teach him to fetch?
Most dogs will pick this up within a couple of days but some dogs just don’t seem to want to chase the ball. You need to get him excited about the ball. Get him to chase you with the ball in your hand and then wave it about in front of him, maybe bounce it off a wall.
Once you get him fetching the ball back…..PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE….Once he picks up the fetch command it won’t be long before you can teach him to fetch anything.