Teaching your dog how to fetch is one of the easiest dog training tricks to teach your dog. It is also a good way for your dog to get some exercise which will curb any potential health problems such as obesity and give an extra energy outlet to tire them out during the day. It also helps keep them physically active and strengthens your bond with them. It is also one of the dog training tricks that can be done while on breaks and vacations at work or at home.
This training starts by having your dog on a leash and standing behind you with their Frisbee in tow. You will then hold the opposite ends of the leash and guide your dog’s nose to the dog treat in front of you. Your dog should learn to “follow” the cue which is usually a motion of the head towards the direction of the motion of the Frisbee. When they are consistently following the cue, you are ready to move on to the next step. That next step is to have your dog sit.
Have your dog sit, then say the command to “fetch”, and offer them the treat. Praise your dog for sitting until they are calm and comfortable, then offer them the treat. As they calm down, praise them for staying calm while they receive the treat.
The next step is to have them lie down next to you on their side, face you. While keeping their head down, use the command for “fetch” and guide them toward the object you have selected, this time using the “forgetting” command for the next step. Use this command repeatedly, moving the object closer with each instruction until they are able to touch it without moving their heads. Stop the sequence when they reach it. At this point you can either give them the treat or take them by the shoulders and lead them to the item without saying the command for it.
Once they have reached the item and it is secure to place your arm around them, pointing at it. If they move their heads to chase the toy, you can push them gently away from it, until they sit still and are quiet. You will know when they have sat still and are quiet because they stop attempting to retrieve the toy and keep their heads down. Repeat these steps until they have mastered this technique. During the dog-training phase, you will want to start with small items, and work your way up to more complicated ones.
Keep the treats and the attention on the dog until they have been sitting quietly for a period of time. When they sit down praise them. They should also be able to touch the toy with only their front feet. This is how they are learning to ‘fetch’. Remember to spend lots of praise when they are doing well with this first step.
As they begin to learn the behavior of ‘fetching’, do not reward any bad behavior. They must work for their treats and the attention that you are providing. Only reward good behavior, no matter how difficult that may seem at the beginning. This method works because the dog has to learn what behavior is desirable, before they can be rewarded. Using treats and praise will speed up the behavior training process.
The Frisbee is very useful in teaching how to train your dog to retrieve. It is a great tool for getting your dog to practice fetch without a lot of expense. You can easily purchase one of these puppies, or you can find one that is already assembled. Get your dog a toy that they love and practice their fetching skills on it.