Training a Puppy to Fetch
Fetch is a fun game! However not all dogs agree. They need to learn to fetch, since this is not something that would come natural to all puppies. Only few dogs are natural fetchers. Next we will teach you some tricks on training a puppy to fetch. We are sure our tips will help you to do the training as fun as fetching once your dog is skilled on this game.
Starting Training as a Puppy with Chasing
Starting training as early as possible is the easiest way on training a puppy to fetch. All puppies are playful. They will take practically anything and start playing with it. Be observant of your puppy’s habits. Some dogs have preferred objects or toys. To start training, chose the object he likes to play the most.
Then, start with chasing the object. It is easy to start this game as your puppy will be delighted to interact with you and his favorite toy. You can start with short chases tying the object to a string. Chasing is just half the job of fetching. This is the easiest part.
If you have troubles with chasing, then reward your puppy with a delicious treat. However, most times this is not necessary, and your dog will be willing to chase practically anything. When you play chase with your dog, you can associate a command. It can be as simple as “chase”. Hold your dog and say “chase” when you want it to run after the object.
Avoid Chasing your Puppy
As you play the chase game, make sure you are the one commanding your puppy to chase a given object. Whatever you do, don’t chase your puppy as you are engaged in this game. Otherwise, your puppy will misunderstand the game, thinking that you chasing it is the right way to go.
This advice is of most use as you are willing to play fetch. If you give your puppy the wrong message, it will end up making fun of you, with you chasing him all around the place.
It is time to Teach “come”
The “come” command is of must use not just for fetching. It can be a great way to teach your puppy how to walk and behave the way you want. To teach “come” is an essential part of training a puppy to fetch. To start, stand up next to your puppy. Then step back once and say “come” as you show a reward. It can be a dog treat a toy, or simply a caress.
Repeat the process from 3 to 5 times every training session. You can have up to 3 sessions per day. Remember that you will not get your puppy’s attention for too long. You need to take advantage of the few windows of time in which it is fully attentive and repeat the same message again and again. It requires patience, but once you manage to imprint it in its brain, it will be an automatic reflection.
Every time you see your puppy is ready for a new challenge, add a step back, so that the distance between you and your puppy is greater than before. Practice until you can ask your dog to come from a distance of around a couple of meters. Then, it is time to move on and start the fetch game.
Put it all Together
With the chasing game and the “come” command you have everything set to train a puppy to fetch. But there is one last thing you need to teach your puppy on training a puppy to fetch. That is to give the object back.
To put it all together, you want to make the distance between you and your puppy short again. Get his favorite object and say “chase” as you throw it away. The instant he gets it, speak the magic word “come”. Then, wait until your puppy gives the object back. If he doesn’t, whatever you do, don’t take it by force. For your puppy it is the game of pulling an object. It may not be as fun for you as it is for your puppy. Beware of entertaining your dog.
Since chasing is a fun activity, most dogs understand easily that taking and giving the ball back is going to start the game all over again. However, that is not straightforward for some dogs who like to hold on to the object not letting go.
In extreme cases, use dog treats to make your dog let go of the retrieved object. It will need to let go to get the dog treat. However, you don’t want to stick to that technique forever or you will end up with a fatty puppy. Once your puppy automatically drops the object, start a fetch game again.
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