How To Teach A Dog To Play Fetch

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How To Teach A Dog To Play Fetch

by Craig McPherson

How to teach a dog to play fetch can start at an early age.

First find an item that is soft and small enough for the dog to carry.

Don't make it too small that the dog may choke.

Show the item to the dog and tease the dog with the item. Play with the dog for a few minutes then throw the item just over the dog's head.

As soon as the dog picks up the item praise immediately then if you are on the ground with the dog ROLL OVER once calling the dog.

The dog will get excited and run to you with the toy. Praise the dog immediately when it arrives.

If the dog has not brought the toy back keep trying until it does. Practise this until it brings it back fast then increase the distance when you throw the item.

After you have perfected this at some distance you can tell the dog "FETCH" as you throw the item, "COME" as you want the dog to recall and "GIVE" or "OUT" when you want the dog to release the item.

To obtain a fast fetch hold onto the dog until the item hits the ground then say "Fetch" and release the dog.

If you have trouble in getting the dog to return with the item start again at small distances, never let the dog run off with the item because if you chase the dog this is another fun game that is frustrating for you when you cant catch the dog.

If this becomes a habit it will be hard to break and the dog will always run off with the item.

If you have trouble in getting your dog to release the item from its mouth teach the dog the hold and release at a separate time. To do this you need to take the item and give it to your dog. Then say, "HOLD" when your dog bites the item (DON'T LET THE DOG CHEW THE ITEM).

Let the dog hold the item in its mouth for a few seconds the give the "RELEASE" command like "OUT" or "GIVE". As soon as the dog lets go of the item praise gently. If you over praise the dog it may release prematurely.

If you can't get the dog to release then force open its mouth with your hands or put one hand over the muzzle and blow down the dog's nostrils.


Once you have this perfected try using different objects like the stick or a ball.

Make it harder for your dog to bring it back by throwing the ball around a corner by bouncing it off the wall.

Always praise the dog on return and always let the dog warm up to big throws because injuries can occur.

Some bigger dogs can easily injure a Cruciate ligament when they turn suddenly and that is expensive.

Have fun and enjoy your dog. You will make a great team.

How to teach a dog to play fetch at an early age may help you if you want to go for obedience titles.


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