Why Don’t You Teach Your Dog to Fetch?
By Jane Kraynyk
If you want to create a bit of fun with your pup; why donâ€™t you teach your dog to fetch! Fetch is a simple command that can be taught easily to puppies but is not beyond the ability of older dogs to learn it as well. This simple game is used mainly as entertainment with the purpose of creating bonding time between a dog and his trainer.
So how do you go about teaching this behavior?
One of the easiest methods of training the fetch command involves having two toys that are identical and you know your dog enjoys playing with. Start with attaching a leash to your dogâ€™s collar or a halter, hide one of the toys behind your back so your dog canâ€™t see it and after showing your dog the second toy, throw it a short distance away. Release your dog from his leash and say â€œfetchâ€ or whatever word cue you want to use.
Your dog will most likely chase after the toy and pick it up. When the dog starts to return with the first toy, produce the second toy that was hidden. Your dog will likely drop the first toy he was carrying in favor of the new toy. At the moment this happens, wait for your dog to come back to you and reattach his leash before you throw the new toy. After you throw the new toy, say â€œfetchâ€ while removing his leash so he can chase after the new toy. While he is chasing this new toy, you run and get the first toy. Repeat the process often using the fetch command each time.
Another method you can try is called the forced retrieve. This is done by throwing the toy a short distance and walking the dog to the toy and wait for him to pick it up. Praise and reward his generously for finding and picking up the toy. If you find that a toy doesnâ€™t work as a good motivator, try food treats or meat spreads when your dog gives results. Kong toys are really great for this game as they can be stuffed with all kinds of tasty surprises your dog will enjoy.
Here are some other tips that will help your dog learn the game of fetching easier and much quicker:
– Donâ€™t go for throwing long distances. Throwing short distances are far easier for dogs to visualize and concentrate on. It will also make less work for you if your dog fails grasp the concept and you end up retrieving the object yourself.
– Save fetch toys for playing fetch only. If you let your dog play with the toy all the time, it will lose its appeal and the dog will have no desire to want to chase after it.
– Be sure to have a good hold on your dog a moment before you let him loose to chase the object. This gives him time to focus and to build up a stronger desire to go after the object theyâ€™re looking for.
– Avoid the common myth that your suppose to use sticks as fetch toys. Theyâ€™re hard on your dogâ€™s mouth and could contain parasites or possible poisonous substances. Not to mention confusing the heck out of your dog if you are playing near an area with lots of tree growth.
If you master these simple techniques, you are then ready to enjoy a fun fill afternoon of exercise and bonding with your wonderful canine companion.
Jane K is a lifelong dog enthusiast with a family of four beloved dogs of her own which provide the inspiration for this site. To learn more about how to care for your own beloved dog â€“ visit her at http://www.simply-dog-care-and-more.com Or sign up for K9 Care News at http://www.simply-dog-care-and-more.com/news-letter.html to receive more tips and info on caring for your dog delivered right to your inbox.
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