How to train a dog to fetch?
How to train a dog to fetch? (Expert Guide)
Fetch is an interactive game to play with your dog but it does not come naturally. You have to train your dog to fetch. Fetching is a skill that is specific to dog breeds. Some dogs love to play fetch while others do not understand this game at all or they are not interested. Like services dogs who have never been with toys do not know what to do with fetch.
Teaching fetch is tough work and requires a lot of patience and time. The results of fetching are outstanding and it not only helps in running and exercise of your dog but it also helps to create a strong relationship between you and your dog.
Breeds Bred for Fetching
Fetching is a fun game and looking at it has many benefits, people started breeding for Fetching, and a lot of breeds today are bred for Fetching like
- Chesapeake Retrievers
Before playing this game, understand that fetch is just a game and there is a possibility that your dog might not be interested in playing it. You should not force them to play rather find an alternate game that brings the same exercise for the dog like tug of war and flirt pole.
Things you need before teaching Fetch to your dog
There are certain requirements of the fetch game. You should always make sure to have all things listed below to play the game.
7Steps to Teach a Dog to Fetch
Teaching and training a dog to play fetch is interesting and it requires practice. Below are the given steps that you can follow step by step to get your dog able to Play the fetch game.
1. Introduce the Fetch Toy to your Dog.
- Pick a toy or your dog's favorite toy and introduce it to your dog.
- Sit down in front of your dog and keep the toy in front of you where the dog can see it.
- Wait for the dog to interact with the toy.
- As soon as it comes closer and touches it, give you a good boy sign and praise heavily followed by a treat.
- Now, wait for your dog to interact again, if your dog smells it or puts it in its mouth, praise your dog again and give it a treat.
- Repeat the process again and again until your dog realizes that this is a means of treatment.
- Eventually, your dog will use the toy to get treats from you.
2. Moving Around the Fetch toy
- Now that your dog is familiar with the toy and accepts it as a source of treats.
- This is the time you start moving the toy around at arm's length and wait for your dog to follow it.
- Do not throw it away now or out of the range of your dog.
- Wait for you to come to Toy to play.
- As soon as they touch it, praise it with a clicker or say yes followed by a treat.
- Keep doing this multiple times until your dog becomes familiar with it. Make sure that your dog has accepted that keeping in touch with the toy is a way to treat it.
3. Teach your dog how to grab the fetch toy
This is the most taxing part of the job as it requires a lot of time and patience. Make sure to watch your dog's activities and reward them when you get the desired results.
- Keep the fetch toy in front of you at arm's length or just a little distance and make sure that your dog is sitting on the opposite side and can see it.
- Give your dog enough time to interact with the toy. Keep watching the dog and when they touch it or smell it, give them a treat and keep it again in front of them.
- Repeat this process again and again until they keep it in their mouth.
- When your dog picks it with their mouth or tries to put it in their mouth, reward them heavily with their favorite treat and cuddle them to tell them that they did a great job.
- Repeat it again and again. Do not forget to give a treat every time.
4. Throw the Fetch Toy at a Little distance.
Before starting this step, make sure that your dog knows how to pick up a toy from the ground. That is the basis of this step because now we will train the dog how to pick up the toy from a distance.
- Throw the toy on the ground at a little distance.
- Wait for the dog to reach the toy.
- When they pick the toy and bring it to you, give it treats and shout "Good Boy or " Yes".
- Keep doing it until they know what they are supposed to do.
- Throw it over and over again and every time they bring it back, give them their favorite treat.
5. Throw the Toy at a higher distance
Now it's time to go for the real test by throwing the toy at hand force distance. Keep raising the bar for the dog.
- Keep the toy in your hand and wave it in the air.
- Get your dog's attention on the dog.
- Then throw it away with force but make sure that it should be visible to the dog.
- Wait for your dog to reach it and grab the fetch toy. When they come back, give them their treat as a reward.
- Keep throwing the toy away until your dog runs towards it to pick it up.
- Do not stop until you get the desired results.
6. Give a Verbal Command
This step is optional and not necessary to teach your dog. But if you want your dog to fetch the toy on command, this is the right time to do it.
- Say any word like "Fetch" or "Go" or any other word that you like when throwing away the toy
- When they come back with the toy, make sure to give them a heavy treat.
- Your dog is already trained to fetch the toy and may not even listen to your command. Still, you get our desired result which is to fetch the toy.
7. Let's go outside to play Fetch
Now it's high time to go outside and practice the skills that you taught your dog for the real test because the real test starts here. Before this, we have been training and teaching indoors but when we move outdoors there are a lot of distractions.
- Take your dog to a dog park or fenced arena.
- Unleash your dog.
- Make sure your dog is trained to be playful and safe even after being unleashed. If not train your dog first.
- After unleashing your dog, bring out the toy.
- Wave it in the air and get your dog's reaction.
- Then throw it at hand force distance.
- As soon as your dog brings it back, give it a treat.
- The bigger the distance, the bigger the treat.
Benefits Of Fetching
- It is a way of exercise for your dog.
- It helps burn excessive energy.
- It tires them out which helps to get good sleep.
- It is a great way to keep them active.
- You will see that your dog is mentally stimulated, active, and agile.