Teaching your dog to fetch may sound strange. After all, dogs love to fetch, right? This isn’t always the case, unfortunately. Sometimes fetch doesn’t come naturally and if this is the case, then you have some work to do. It may be that your dog just sits and stares at you, or they may wonder why you would choose to throw a perfectly good toy. Some dogs will run for the toy, but they won’t bring it back as well. If you know that your dog is having a hard time learning how to fetch, then this is the guide for you.
Start with Chasing
If your dog likes to just sit and stare, then the first thing that you need to do is try and start out with the chasing aspect. There are three ways that you can go ahead and do this. You can either offer them treats or you can offer them affection. You can also choose to play with the object that your dog has retrieved for you. Either way, it doesn’t matter which option you go with because the process is ultimately the same. Encourage your dog to chase the item that you have put on the floor. It’s important that you don’t throw it at this stage, just place it on the ground. When they touch it, reward them with the chosen motivator. When you have done this, you need to take the object away. If you can do this a few times, then you will be able to throw it a very short distance. When they go for it, reward again. Do this until they chase the object reliably. If you have a hard floor then this may be making it harder for your dog to chase, so put something soft on the floor for them. Woof blankets are ideal; you can personalise it with your pet’s breed and you can also use it as a keepsake long after their training is complete.
Add some Extra Motivation
If you want to encourage your dog to chase even more, then try and hold them back and don’t let them chase after the toy. They will tug against you naturally, especially if you give them some verbal encouragement. When you let go of the dog, they will be off like a rocket, and this will really help you to build that drive. Only do this, if they are chasing the object consistently.
Retrieving is super important in a game of fetch. When your dog has chased the object, you then need to encourage them to bring it back to you. There are a number of things that you can do here to try and encourage your dog’s behaviour. If they will not bring the object back, then using a second toy can help here. When they have got the first one, throw the other in the opposite direction. They probably won’t carry the toy with them, but they will get accustomed to the idea of running back to you when they have just chased the object.
IMAGE SOURCE: Pexels.com