Teaching Wolfie to Fetch

I thought that all dogs just knew how to fetch, but Wolfie has no idea!  What's up with that?

First of all, dogs don't intuitively understand "fetch".  Based on different distractions, reward systems, and individual tendencies, some dogs might pick up the "idea" faster than others.  The bottom line is that you still have to show them what you want them to do over and over again for them to learn the process.

Here is what you do:

  • Start out by just rolling a tennis ball towards Wolfie so that it will be a distraction that will keep his focus and interest.  You might even soak the tennis ball in beef broth (letting it dry before you use it) to further enhance the distraction.  Repeat this over and over again until Wolfie always goes for the ball you are rolling towards him.
  • Slowly change the direction of the rolling ball.  Repeat this slowly until you are now rolling the ball away from Wolfie and he is going after the ball.
  • Now, we want to have Wolfie to bring the ball back.  Attach a long lead (10' - 20') to Wolfie.  Once you have rolled the ball and Wolfie had captured it, give Wolfie a "come command".  If he doesn't return to you, give the lead a slight tug to encourage him to come back to you.  Repeat this  until Wolfie will catch the ball and then return to you.
  • Now, begin bouncing and then throwing the ball.  This adds more movement to the activity, but Wolfie should be ready for it.  Repeat this until Wolfie is catching the ball and bringing it back every time.
  • Remove the lead and continue the process.  If Wolfie doesn't being the ball back, attach the lead and continue with that until he repeatedly brings the ball back.
You have now taught Wolfie how to fetch.  Understand that all dogs might not like to play fetch.  To be completely successful, Wolfie will want to play fetch and see it as a fun time of bonding with you.  If Wolfie doesn't like the activity, he will do it, but it will seem like work and it won't be a fun time for the two of you.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.


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