How to teach a dog to fetch – 3 simple steps

Teaching your dog any trick can be a painful task if you don’t know how to do it correctly. In this I want to go over the basic concept of teaching your dog just about any trick and then we’ll apply it to how to teach a dog to fetch.

The basic concept behind teaching dogs any trick is deception. Find a way to get them to do the trick by accident, and then reward them for it! Many of the tricks I’ve written about before involve manipulating the head using treats, making the body perform the desired action simply so the head can get to the treat. Fetch is different though.

The dog just wants to please you. Making him happy and getting rewarded are 2 of the top things on his priority list. Knowing this basic concept, let’s use this to learn how to teach a dog to fetch.

Step 1. It’s important to make sure your dog’s head is in play. if you’re the only one interested in the game of fetch, what’s the point of trying to learn something? It’s like trying to teach a sleeping child to read. Why waste time?

Regardless, try to wave the ball a few feet away from your dog’s face. You should get an immediate affirmative reaction if your dog really wants to play with the ball.

Step 2. Now, throw the ball, but not too far. Just long enough that your dog has to run for a couple of seconds and then run to get back to you.

Step 3. Finally, (here’s the important part) once your dog has the ball and turns to face you with the ball in his mouth, lightly clap your hands and run away! The dog’s natural instincts to run with you and catch up with you will be all you need for your dog to hit you back.

Don’t call your dog, just run away slowly and clap your hands lightly. Once your dog catches up with you, give him a your of praise!

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