How To Teach Your Dog To Play Fetch
Playing fetch with your dog is a great way to exercise your dog but also to have fun and develop a bond with your canine companion. Most dogs are not born with the knowledge to play fetch, but it is not difficult to teach your furry friend how it works. Fetch is essentially a game of throwing a ball or toy, having your dog chase it and return it back to you. Here is a simple guide to teaching your dog the game that will have you at the park in no time:
Start with sit
This is an important step to introduce your dog to the ball and get them excited about the game. The game always begins by asking your dog to sit. This will also ensure your dog won’t jump on you to get the ball before you throw it.
Get them to chase and pick up the ball/toy
You should initially throw the ball a short distance and gradually throw it longer distances over time as your dog learns the game. Say the word ‘fetch’ when you throw the ball, your dog then should chase it and pick it up. If your dog does not chase it then try again and get them to take interest in the ball.
Call the dog back
This is a key element of the game where your dog brings the ball back to you. Ensure that your dog has a good understanding of the come command and say it as soon as they pick up the ball. Give them lots of praise when they come back to you such as patting and verbal praise.
Teach them to drop the ball/toy
The final step of the fetch game is to get them to drop the ball. This is where the release command or drop it command is useful. When your dog releases the ball, you should throw it again to reward them.
It is always much safer to use a small ball or dog toy when you play fetch and avoid using sticks that can often cause injuries to your dog. If you are struggling to teach the fetch game to your dog, try incorporating dog treats, particularly if your dog is unwilling to release the ball in the last step.