How to Train a Dog to Fetch

How to Train a Dog to Fetch. Warm up your pitching arm and be patient—you
might just be playing “Throw” for a while before your dog catches on. You will need A dog Somewhere big enough to
play in A tennis ball or favorite dog toy to throw And dog treats A t-shirt or dishtowel
with a knot tied in the middle A leash and a helper. Step 1. Pick something for your dog to fetch. A favorite toy works great, but a tennis ball
works well too. Don’t use a stick as a throw toy. Besides being dangerous to throw near other
people, a stick can hurt your dog’s mouth and may contain parasites. Step 2. Stash a handful of dog treats in your pocket,
so you’ll have them handy. A clean t-shirt or dishtowel makes a great
throw toy if you tie a knot in the middle. It’s floppy, the knot makes it easy to pick
up, and it’s machine-washable. Step 3. If you’re playing with your dog inside,
make sure you have enough space to throw a toy or ball without breaking anything. A hallway works great. Step 4. If you’re playing outside, make sure the
dog can’t stray into traffic or other dangerous areas. A fenced backyard is best. Many public outdoor spaces require dogs to
be leashed, so don’t turn your pooch loose in a park without checking the rules. Step 5. Shake the toy or tennis ball in front of your
dog. Make a big fuss over it and hold it just out
of reach. Step 6. When you’ve got the dog’s attention, throw
the toy or ball a short distance. This will make it easier for the dog to keep
her eye on it. Step 7. When the dog runs after the toy, pile on the
praise. If she picks it up, be even more positive. Step 8. Most likely your dog will chase the toy. But if she dog doesn’t seem to understand
about fetching after you’ve thrown the object a few times, clip a leash to her collar and
walk her over to it. Praise her for arriving at the right spot. If the dog doesn’t pick up the toy, it’s
helpful to have a friend actually put it into her mouth. Of course, the instant the dog is carrying
the toy, more praise is in order. Step 9. When the dog has the fetch toy in her mouth,
call her back to you. Yell “Bring it here! Bring it here!” Praise her as soon as she starts to move toward
you. Step 10. As soon as the dog arrives with the toy, praise
her and give her a treat. When she sees the treat, she should drop the
toy automatically. Say “Drop it!” immediately, as soon as you see her starting
to drop the toy. That way, she’ll associate the command with
what she’s already doing. Never try to take the fetch toy away from
the dog. You don’t want her to think tug-of-war is
part of this game! And if she runs, don’t encourage her by
chasing after—run the other way, and offer a treat when she follows you instead. Step 11. As your dog gets to understand the rules of
this game, you can gradually stop giving her treats for performing her part of the routine. Taper them off to once every other time she
brings the toy back, then once every third time, and so on. Step 12. Once your dog has learned the “Fetch!”
basics, feel free to vary the routine. Try tossing a flying disk for a change. Throw the toy for longer distances, or over
different terrains—even into the water, if you’re at a beach. Before long, your dog will be bringing you
her special toy and begging you to play! Did you know Newfoundland dogs, which have
webbed feet, are so good at fetching and swimming that in the past they were trained to rescue
drowning swimmers.

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