Fetching is one of the game activities you can train your dog to play. While some dogs by instinct can play the fetch game (Commonly the retrievers), other dogs need to be trained. As simple and fun as the fetch game looks, it takes consistent effort to achieve with your furry friend.
The supplies needed to train your dog fetching are toys (any toy that works) and treats (to reward and positively reinforce your pet during training). Before you commence training, your dog should be familiar with orders like ‘come’ and ‘drop’.
Tips on training your dog to fetch
- Introduce the toy: Get your doggo familiar with a toy (best to use their favourite toy). You can place the toy close to the dog’s head and reward every step taken towards smelling, licking and grabbing the toy.
- Move the fetch toy: As soon as your dog gets familiar with grabbing the toy in your hand, start moving it around the head with your dog moving with it. At this stage, don’t throw the toy yet. Remember to reward every progress made with a treat.
- Put the toy on the floor at about arm’s length. Watch your dog move towards the toy and reward every desirable step towards fetching the toy. As earlier stated, this training requires patience and consistency till you get the desired result.
- Once your dog is used to fetching the toy at arm’s length, you can now throw the toy to a farther distance. Every time your dog successfully fetches the toy, reward it with a treat. The moment your dog gets used to having a treat after fetching, then you can start increasing the fetch distance.
- Add a verbal instruction: This is largely optional. If you would like your dog to fetch on command, you can then start introducing verbal instructions like fetch, stop, e.t.c.