How to Train a Dog to Fetch
Playing fetch with a dog can be a fun way to bond and teach your dog a trick that will help tire him out.
Many dogs don’t like to play fetch because they think that by bringing the ball back to their owner that the game will be over and they won’t be able to have any more fun. When you train a dog to fetch the key is to show the dog that the fun is increased by bringing the ball or toy back time and time again.
Here are some useful tools for training this trick with your dog:
First, you need a dog that has a natural drive for playing fetch. Many dogs weren’t bred to chase and retrieve objects and therefore don’t have any natural desire. Training a dog to fetch is an entirely motivational behavior and needs to be done with dogs that already enjoy chasing a toy.
Start out with two balls or toys and a long leash of about twenty feet or so. Hold one of the balls while the other is in your pocket. Get your dog interested in one of the balls by waving it back and forth. Hold onto the long line and toss the ball about 10 feet away.
Allow your dog to chase and grab the ball. As he grabs the ball use the long line to reel him back in like a fish. As he gets close immediately remove the other ball from your pocket. Get him interested in the other ball.
As he drops the ball in his mouth to go after the ball in your hand immediately toss your ball in a new direction. Repeat the same exercise as before.
As time goes on your dog will learn this ‘two ball game’ and will eagerly return his ball and drop it in anticipation of getting the next ball.
Be patient and you will learn to quickly train a dog to fetch.