Who does not like a dog, especially a trained dog?
Very few dogs naturally play fetch. Some dogs just like you throwing the toy and would never bring it back. Helping your dog understand the game of fetch is really fun. Today, I am going to share some simple steps on how to teach your dog fetch.
Training should usually start when a puppy is around 5 to 6 months old. In case you do not have a puppy yet and are planning to buy a puppy then you can read my post how to buy the right puppy.
Before starting with the training make yourself equipped with:
- Spacious place without distractions
- Toy which your dog loves the most
- Dog treats/snacks/biscuits
Get the right toy
Before taking your dog out to play fetch, first find out what is the toy which your dog loves the most. Some prefer a tennis ball, wooden stick or chew toys. In case you don’t have any of these you can think of buying one of the affordable toys from Amazon. Try avoiding too small toys as your dog should not end you choking itself and try avoiding too big toys which your dog might find it hard to handle.
In case your dog does not like putting toys in its mouth, then try soaking the toy in chicken stock. This should motivate your dog to put the toy in its mouth.
If this is the first time you are playing with your dog; then you need to start with the basics. Tug of war is the most basic game you can start with your dog. Try teasing your dog by shaking it in front of your dog or gently tickling your dog’s nose with the toy. Once you feel your dog is responding then try pulling the toy from the dog’s mouth. Gradually start the game of tug of war with your dog. Take the toy from your dog’s mouth and throw it nearby, when the dog goes near the toy, immediately snatch it and again continue the process of tug of war. Slowly increase the distance till the dog enjoys the game of tug of war and finds it irresistible.
Once your dog understands the process of tug of war; now throw the toy a few feet away. Now you can run from your dog slowly this encourages your dog to run behind you. Now you can give your dog a treat and this in turn will make your dog release the toy. Repeat this three to four times. By now your dog would have understood that every time he drops the toy he gets a treat. Now make this an interesting exercise and try to slowly reducing the number of treats you are giving to your dog.
Once your dog understands the game of fetch you wont have to give him treats quite often. However, whenever you want to start a game of fetch with your dog, initially give some treats so that he feels excited to play the game. For dogs with lot of energy this is an ideal game to spend all those energy and acts as a good workout. Try playing this game in quite spacious area such that he can run freely and makes the game more exciting.
Next post I will try to help you on how to teach your dog to Drop anything in its mouth with the command Drop.