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Training Techniques to Get your Dog to Fetch

 Training Techniques to Get your Dog to Fetch

training techniques dogs
obedience training

Training Techniques to Get your Dog to Fetch

A fun command to teach a dog is to fetch.  Although not one of obedience, the fetch command is fun and gives you the opportunity to play with your dog, one-on-one.  Of course, before you start with tricks, it is important to go through all the basic obedience commands first.  This way, your dog will know that you are the boss and will actually respond much better to the fun tricks.  In fact, the majority of tricks are based on obedience so always do the training in the right order.

Before starting anything such as fetch, you want to make sure your veterinarian says it is okay.  Sometimes, dogs might have some type of hip or knee problem, which could be further damaged with this type of workout.  Once you have been given the nod of approval, you can get started with teaching him to fetch.  Then, remember that you will get your dog to obey much quicker by using positive reinforcement in the form of praise, petting, and special treats.

Keep in mind that some dogs simply have no interest in fetching or retrieving so if you find your dog to be one of these, you might move on to another trick.  However, if your dog is interested, get ready for some fun.  Most often, dogs will gladly run after a ball, stick, or special toy, eager to play.  The challenging part is getting the dog to bring the item back to you.  If you do not train him to understand, he will see this whole experience as a game, showing no desire to return the item to your hand.

Make sure the dog is on a leash during initial training.  Then, you want to start in a controlled area, such as a living room, hallway, or small deck.  Then, using a ball, gently roll the ball about one foot away, encouraging the dog to “fetch”.  You may need to move his body toward the ball; physically putting it in his mouth to start with but soon he will gladly get it on his own.  Once the dog has the item in his mouth, gently pull the leash back toward you with the “come” command.  In other words, start with “fetch” to get the item and “come” to get him back.

Once he starts catching onto the fetch part, you can slowly drop the come.  When he does bring the item back, offer him praise and a treat.  Typically, a 30-minute play session daily for about two weeks is all it takes.  Of course, if your dog loves to fetch or is a retriever, this will be a breeze.  Other items great for teaching fetch include a six-inch piece of rubber hose or a short piece of PVC, which cannot be destroyed by tiny puppy teeth.

You want to wave the object just before tossing it to get the dog excited about going and getting it.  Even at first when he does not bring the item back to you, let him know that you are thrilled he picked it up.  Using the two commands together at first, you will help him understand to go get and bring back.