Many people love to play fetch with their dog, so if you are one of the lucky ones, you will have a dog that masters fetch by nature and these are very rare dogs. But no problem, it’s easy to teach a dog to fetch, especially since this training can help you in many other activities, such as fetching drinks from the fridge or searching for lost items.
At first, you will notice that some dogs look at you in amazement, why to throw the game away! Others will join the game but won’t fetch it for you, it’s really frustrating. Although the skill of fetching doesn’t come with every dog, it can be developed with a little training. This is what we will discover together in the next article. But before that, let’s see why you should train your dog to fetch?
Do you have to teach a dog to fetch?
Many dog breeders think that the skill of fetching comes naturally with dogs, but in fact, it is a skill that most dogs acquire by training. Training dogs to fetch is very important if you want to have a perfectly trained companion that can help you with many things such as getting a drink from the fridge, looking for a lost game, or having fun in training. Moreover, this activity is very important if not necessary to have a dog in order to be able to fetch distant prey. But sometimes you will notice that your dog will not want to teach how to fetch, so we will know the reason.
Why won’t my dog play fetch?
There are many reasons why dogs are not interested in playing the fetching game and do not want to respond to training, the most important one may be health reasons, such as arthritis, which negatively affects the enjoyment the dog gets from playing the recovery game. Sometimes you may be able to teach a dog to fetch, but in a short time, it will lose its passion for training, because as White says, “Dogs, like people, repeat what they like and what makes them happy”, this means that they no longer feel fun and positive enough to play fetch.
At other times, some dogs may dislike the type of items they want to bring, so it’s a good idea to change what you ask the dog to fetch during training to find the game that your dog wants to play with and fetch it.
At what age do dogs learn to fetch?
If you have a new puppy and you want to train it professionally, of course, you want to teach your dog to fetch, but you don’t know at what age your puppy can learn this important skill. Popular dog trainers recommend that puppies should be trained to fetch at the age of 10-12 weeks and that they should be gradually taught by playing with them and asking them to bring the reward they are about to acquire. Sometimes, certain recovered dog breeds will master this training in record time.
How to train a dog to fetch?
Step 1: Teaching Hold
This step is very necessary for your dog to learn the recovery technique, so it is very important to teach it to hold first.
At first, sit on the floor face the dog, then show it the toy in your hands. When your dog tries to check it out, pat it on the head and offer it a reward, so in the dog’s mind, the toy is linked to the reward. After that, raise the standard, which means the reward is only given when it smells the toy and puts it in its mouth until it becomes a habit. Then you increase the time that it waits for the reward to keep the toy in its mouth as long as possible, at this point you can start to make a verbal signal such as “hold”.
Once mastered, develop this training by moving your hands away from the toy and quickly returning it to the toy before the dog drops it, then give it a reward. Be sure to be very slow to teach a dog to fetch so that it doesn’t get boring and succeeds in the training. Once the dog has mastered the ” holding “, it’s time to start teaching it how to fetch!
Step 2: Teaching Fetch:
In order that your dog to master fetching, place a toy in your hand and bring it close to the dog, then ask it to ” hold ” them. If the dog does this, give it a reward, but if it doesn’t take it, there’s no problem, train your dog more on the “holding” skills mentioned above.
After that, develop the skill a little bit by placing the toy on the floor in front of the dog and ask it to hold the toy, when it picks them to toy up, give it an efficient reward, at this point you can leave the toy a little bit away from the dog and ask it to do the same thing, making sure that it is done very slowly.
This is when you need to start adding your verbal cues such as “get” or ” fetch”. Continue to increase the distance that the dog must go to get the toy while maintaining its reward and increasing its value each time. With a little patience, the dog will realize that the reward is not related to fetching and will be able to master this skill.
You can also use this video to teach your dog to fetch.
Some tips to teach a dog to fetch:
- Choose the right toy: Sometimes a dog is very sensitive to choosing its own toy, some dogs prefer a tennis ball, others choose Frisbee, while many dogs prefer to play with old sticks … So you notice that your dog is having difficulty training to fetch. So try many toys and balls until you find one that suits your dog and is the most exciting for it. In any case, avoid small balls that the dog can swallow, or edible things, in order to protect your dog’s health.
- Use a trick to encourage your dog to fetch: When you’re teaching your dog to fetch, if you notice that it doesn’t like to put toys in its mouth, try soaking the toy in something delicious, such as chicken broth or any other food that your dog likes, and you can fill a sock with treats. All of these things will tempt it to taste the toy and pick it up, so you can start to teach a dog to fetch easily.
Related Post: – 6 Basic Dog Training Command.