How to Teach my Puppy fetch?

Posted by jinx
Jan 5, 2011
i was wondering how i could teach him to play fetch? My puppy is very active and energetic and i feel bad not being able to give him daily walks or give him the amount of exercise he needs, so i was thinking by teaching him how to play fetch i can help him burn off more energy in a shorter amount of time, rather than long walks which i don't have much time for~
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 6, 2011
Heya jinx,

First off, when you throw something, what does your pup do? Most dogs will chase it, and grab the object in their mouth automatically, the only difference between dogs is that some will also automatically bring it back to you, while others will just run off with it.

So, just try it and see what happens. My own dog just naturally brought the ball back to me, sometimes as a pup I had to call his name, but that was about it. So try that.

If your pup turns out to be the "run away with it!" type, get some treats. When you throw the ball and your dog goes after it, as soon as he's got it in his mouth, crouch down and call him back to you, in a really excited voice, saying LOTS of "good boy!"s. When he comes back to you give him a treat and throw the ball/toy again. Eventually replace the treats with just pats and praise, but this is how my friends all worked on "fetch" with their dogs.

If you want "fetch" to be a command your pup knows, say it everytime as you're throwing the object, and say "good boy" everytime your dog brings it to you.

99% of dogs love fetch, and catch on really quickly. If your pup does seem to miss a step, let us know! Have fun!
Posted by jinx
Jan 7, 2011
He's the run away as soon as he get the toy type. I've tried to get him to come back once he has the toy in his mouth with treats, but then he just drop the toy and comes for the treat. And on the rare times he does bring back the toy he wont let go of the toy, or lets go of it right out of my reach and comes for the treat and then goes back
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 7, 2011
Hi jinx,

I understand you want your puppy to learn fetch but fetching is sequence of several actions so you might want to break it up:

Fetching = go after a ball + pick it up in mouth + bring it back to you + give it to you

I would suggest you teach him to pick a ball up and give it to you first, or even give (hand) objects to you

Sit in front of him and drop a ball in front of him. When he picks it up, praise and treat. Repeat this many time until he learns that he gets praise and treats when he picks up something and drop it/or even exchange it with a treat.

After mastering this, throw a ball to just one foot away. He will pick it up and wait for his treat. Grab the ball and give him a treat. If he drops it out of your reach, point the ball and tell him to pick it up again. You will have to be patient enough to wait until he really gets it.

Increase the distance as he does it successfully. If he doesn't get it, go back to the starting point and repeat the process again.

He will learn it eventually. When my dog drops the ball out of my Chuck-it reach, I tell him to "bring it all the way" and he brings and drops it right in front of my feet. Practice makes perfect