Teach Your Puppy to Fetch

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Teach Your Puppy to Fetch

by Kevin Lynch

Fetching can be a fun game that you and your puppy can enjoy throughout your life together. Many sporting dog breeds like Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Spaniels and others are born with a strong desire to retrieve. Some other breeds like to chase toys and play keep away. You can teach any dog of any age to play fetch but it will likely be easier to teach a puppy. Some dogs will enjoy the game of fetch more than others but all can learn the basics of the game.

An easy and fun way to start teaching your dog to play fetch is to use the two-toy fetch method. Get two identical dog toys that your dog can be crazy about. These toys can be a plush dog toy or a bouncy ball; even a tennis ball works well. The idea is to playfully tease your dog with one of the toys and then throw it a ways from you. Make sure to not throw it too far at the beginning, keep it close until your dog learns. As soon as your dog goes to get the toy, call out praise and then when she retrieves the toy call her back to you and show her the other toy. She will probably run back to you to get the other toy. As soon as she gets close, take the first toy away from her and throw the second toy. She will then run after it and you can start the process over again.

Start slowly and build up over time. Fetching balls can be good exercise so let your dog acclimate to the increased activity. Make sure your dog still wants to play fetch when you stop for the day!

Do not use the fetch toys for any other purpose than to play fetch. It will confuse your dog if she can play with the toys at home but must fetch the toys when you are at the park!

If your dog has no interest in retrieving toys, you can create a positive association and still teach her to fetch the toys. Every time she picks up the toy reward her with a small treat. It will take time and repetitions before this really kicks in for her but you will create a desire to fetch for you by using the treats as a reward.

With a little time and patience you will have a well-trained dog to play fetch with and you both can enjoy the game for years to come.

Kevin Lynch owns Puppy-n-Dog-Secrets.com and offers you more information on training your puppy plus a free newsletter full of all kinds of puppy and dog info at Dog Training.

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