Fetching

The first thing that I wanted to teach my dog was how to fetch. I feel like this would be the hardest to teach him because there is absolutely NO RETRIEVER in him what to ever! He will chase a toy/ball/stick but he will not bring it back. It is a battle to get him to drop it or give it to you. He plays keep away, when you get close to him if he has something in his mouth he will run away from you. At the dog park when he steals another dog’s toy/ball/Frisbee it is a complete nightmare to try and get it from him. (It’s a little embarrassing!)

I just googled how to teach your dog how to fetch and I read these tips from the Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan. The first tip talks about making sure that he is interested in the object that he is fetching. Since we really haven’t practiced outside we went to the dog park yesterday to test it out!

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Since it was pretty cold and windy outside yesterday the dog park was completely empty which is good since there were no distractions. I took a ball that he hasn’t really played with before to see if he will chase it.  Ryder had no problem chasing the ball. He loved chasing it especially if I threw it in the deeper snow. I took a video of Ryder when he gets the ball and how he just wants to play keep away with it.

The website that I was talking about earlier that bringing two toys can help with retrieving. So I think the next time we practice I am going to bring two toys instead of one to see if that works. I want to play fetch with him but it’s no fun if I have to chase it to get the ball back.

After we get the retrieving thing down the next thing is to teach him how to drop it without playing tug-a-war with him. I’m really hoping that he can master fetching, but I know this is going to test my patience to no end!

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3 thoughts on “Fetching

  1. You are such a trooper for going outside in the cold for the sake of your project! I loved the video you added of your dog it was a great addition to your post. My dog recently passed away and so I am in serious puppy withdrawal and watching yours made me smile. Keep up the good work!

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  2. I just noticed my reply last week never actually posted! My appoligies.

    I love your project, its simple and something you love (your dog!), but it will be a decent challenge. When my dog fetched, he really did the same thing, keep away and run circles around the yard. Eventually with age my dad was able to get him to fetch better, though it might have been because he would throw from the BBQ in the summer (seems food is good incentive haha).

    The two toys seems like it would be an interesting idea, but I would recommend give some treats a try! See if that is enough to convince him to return. Begin hiding the treat, and having him come, expecting it (and then of course give it to him). Remember to always give him praises for coming back. Finally, try eventually going without treats, just having a closed fist, and pet him when he comes for the treat. Eventually in the end you can lose the fist, see if it will work to get him fetching! It is a form of learning through behaviourism, but seems to have worked time and time again for other forms of dog training.

    I look forward to seeing your progress!

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  3. Hey Olivia,
    Bringing two toys is definitely a good idea. My dog does not understand the concept of fetch at all and when we use two toys it makes it a little bit easier! I hope that your dog is able to learn fetching better than my dog. I might have to get some tips from your blog (if I don’t give up first) on how to teach my dog!
    Rebecca

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