Playing fetch helps you build a good relationship with your dog. This simple game lets your dog interact with you and expend energy in a constructive manner. Dogs that do not get enough exercise and/or dog training can often be hyperactive and engage in destructive behavior. Playing “fetch” is easy and is a fun way to exercise your dog. Those who train dogs know that “A tired dog is a good dog.”
Here are some steps for teaching your canine to fetch. If you have difficulties after following these steps, you may consult an animal trainer; however, it may simply show that your dog does not have as high of a prey drive as you thought.
Select a retrieving toy the dog likes to place in his mouth. Some dogs prefer the feel of certain toys over others.
Place the retrieving toy a few inches in front of the dog’s mouth and move it around in a playful way to encourage him to reach out and grab it.
When the dog will happily grab the toy out of your hand, place the toy a bit further away than before and entice him to grab it. Once he does, start running backwards, guiding the dog toward you while verbally praising him. Be excited about the dog running toward you with his toy and lavishly praise him when he reaches you.
Teach the dog to release the toy once he reaches you using a simple dog training technique – try trading him for one of his favorite treats. If the treat is yummy enough, most dogs will happily accept the swap.
Repeat this exercise until you can toss the toy on the ground and the dog grabs it and returns it to you.
A leash may be needed initially to guide the dog toward you but can be removed once the dog understands the game.
With some stress-free training, you and your pooch can be playing fetch in no time, bonding while getting great exercise. Your dog trainer would likely encourage owners to play fetch because of its interactive qualities. Have fun!