Teach Your Dog to Play Fetch

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Fetch is a terrific game for most any dog to learn—some breeds, however, tend not to enjoy the game, although interest is different with each dog. Fetch is a game that can strengthen the bond between you and your dog. It is also a terrific way for your dog to get some play/exercise time. And even dogs who don’t show a level of interest in the fame, or dogs who tend to chase the fetch toy/bumper but not retrieve it, can develop a love of the game with a little practice.

To begin, your dog will need a solid foundation of basic obedience. He or she should willingly recall— “Come” or “Here” are common words of recall. He or she should also “Sit” or “Stay” or “Whoa” on command. Remember, anytime your dog is introduced to something new, he or she is going to need to fall back on his or her foundation of obedience.

To begin, determine your dog’s level of interest in the game. Tease him or her with the toy/ball/bumper you hope he or she will retrieve; swing it around, get the dog excited about the object. And when he or she shows an interest in the object, throw it a short distance. Hopefully your dog will demonstrate that he or she has natural ability/innate desire to retrieve. But if not, then the game isn’t over. Simply repeat, repeat, repeat, trying to perk the dog’s interest in the object/activity. Don’t overdo it, however, because you don’t want your do to become bored with the activity. Practice over several days or weeks until your dog understands.  If your dog shows little to no desire, then try praise and treats. And when/if he or she ever does finally put the toy into his or her mouth, act as if it’s the greatest thing they’ve ever accomplished.

Hopefully if you choose to teach your dog the game of fetch, he or she shows a high-level of interest. If not, then don’t give up; it’s very possible to change a dog’s mind about the game of fetch with a little effort.