How to Train a Dog to Fetch

>> 2/6/09

Having a dog can be a fun and rewarding experience. There are many fun activities you can do with your dog to grow upon the enjoyment that you both have. One of the most popular games to play with a dog is fetch. This simple game of retrieving a ball or some other item can lead to hours of fun. There is one catch to this simple game, you have to train your dog to be able to fetch. Do not worry; this is not as hard as it may seem at first glance. With a little persistence and work on your part, your dog will be playing fetch before you know it.


Your dog will naturally be drawn to running after a ball that is thrown. This is a natural instinct that you have probably seen many times in your dog. This is one of the most elementary things that your dog needs to be able to do to play fetch. If you have never seen your dog do this, grab a ball and throw it to see if he runs after it. Most dogs will run after the ball, grab it, and then start towards you. The reason that this is not fetching a ball is that they usually stop and start playing with the ball. Once your comfortable with this, you can move onto the training aspect of getting your dog to fetch.


You will need to have two balls to make this training work. It is important that your dog is interested in these balls. There are dogs that will chase any ball that you throw. There are other dogs that are picky in what they chase. Know which group that your dog falls into.

Throw one of the balls and let your dog chase after it. Keep the other ball that you have hidden. It is important that your dog is focused on the ball that you have throw.

As your dog runs toward you, choose a point near you to tell your dog to drop the ball. You will want to give this command in a stern but friendly voice. Make sure that the point that you choose to do this with your dog is close enough to be your dog giving you the ball. Odds are that your dog will not do this on the first try.

If your dog does not drop the ball, take out the second ball. Ignore your dog and start playing with it. Act like the ball that you have is the most interesting thing that you have ever played with. This will cause your dog to drop the ball that he brought to you and want the one that you have.

Throw the second ball so that your dog has to run and get it. Place the first ball into your pocket so that your dog does not see it. Repeat the command to drop when your dog comes to you with the second ball. If your dog does not drop, repeat this process over and over again until your dog brings you and drops the ball on your command. Reward with a treat as your dog is learning and when he completes the task on command. It will take some time for your dog to get comfortable with playing fetch with you. It may even take a few training sessions.

In the end, your dog will enjoy playing fetch with you and be happy that you spent so much time with him.

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