The best part about playing fetch with your dog is that you get to have fun while still giving him exercise. Some dogs just know how to play fetch naturally, while others don’t know how to retrieve it. Some dogs may go fetch the toy but will not return it to you, while others will simply stare at you, perplexed as to why you keep throwing away his toy. As a result, teaching your dog to retrieve might be a challenging or straightforward endeavour.
Choosing the Best Toy
Dogs can be picky about the toys they use to play fetch with. Some people would rather play with a tennis ball, while others would rather play with a plush animal or even a stick. Experiment with various toys to see which ones your dog like. Just keep a watch out for anything small, as well as something tasty, that he might eat.
Dogs That Refuse to Retrieve
If your dog has trouble grasping the notion of chasing after a toy, you should start with a simple game like tug of war.
Train your dog to fetch a soft toy with which you may play tug of war. Start by playing a quick tug-of-war game with him, then take it away from him. Dance it around on the ground a little to taunt him, then throw it a few inches away. If your dog jumps up to grab the toy, grab it right away and start a new game of tug of war. If your dog only stares at the toy, pick it up and dance it about until he can’t stand it any longer. Rep this process until your dog decides to chase the toy. Soon, he’ll be chasing the toy every time you throw it, and you’ll be able to throw it further away.
A Different Approach
If your dog enjoys chasing the ball but refuses to return it to you, try baiting and switching two identical toys. Begin by showing your dog one of the toys. Encourage the dog to fetch the toy by throwing it. When he reaches for it, invite him over and show him the other toy. As though you’re preparing to fling it in the opposite direction. He might opt to toss out the first toy and go for the second. Go get the first toy and repeat the process when he gets the second toy. This practice helps your dog become accustomed to picking up a toy and running back to you.
You’ll have to determine what he’ll get as a reward for retrieving the ball. Giving your dog some tasty goodies is a great way to show him how much you appreciate him. When you first start training, reward him every time he retrieves. Still, as he gets better at regularly retrieving, praise him less, so he knows that treats aren’t the primary reason to play fetch. Once your dog has mastered fetch, you may focus on rewarding him with more praise rather than food. Give this verbal appreciation at every stage of training to motivate him to do it repeatedly. Don’t grab the toy from him right away when he returns it to you. Instead, praise him, pet him, and give him a treat. This will help him understand the concept of fetch.
You’ll be in good condition if your dog already knows how to sit and stay. To teach your dog to retrieve, you’ll need to add the command ‘drop it.’ This instruction is beneficial if he likes to keep the ball when he returns to you. You may first need to trade with your dog by offering him a treat in exchange for the ball, but he should eventually pick up on the drop command.
It’s critical to keep your dog safe while you’re playing fetch with him. He’ll either need to be well-trained or kept in a confined place where he won’t get away. If you’re at a dog park, make sure there aren’t any other dogs in the area who might fight over the toy. If your dog can’t swim, don’t throw the toy in the water.