Fetch is the best game. Your dog gets his much-needed exercise (and has so much fun!), while you get to sit in one place and relax.
Fetching keeps your pup strong, fast, and alert. He needs the stimulation of having something to chase. The elevated heart rate and overall good time are important for burning off all that excess energy, so he behaves in the house. (Happy dogs are less likely to chew the couch cushions.)
It's also an important bonding exercise for both human and canine. Having fun together is the cornerstone of most healthy relationships, right?
But what happens when old Fido sucks at fetch? You know the drill — he'll run after the ball, but then he just chews on it and never comes back.
Don't worry! You can teach your guy how to properly fetch. And it's easy.
The first thing you’ll need is a toy or two. Like this one:
1. The Double Fetch Method
If your dog is good at chasing his toy but not so good at bringing it back to you, you need to start with two toys.
- Throw his first toy. When he catches this toy, call him to get his attention.
- Once he starts turning to you, throw his second toy in the other direction, away from where you threw the first toy. He’ll likely drop the first toy to go after the second one.
- When he’s chasing the second toy, go and get his first toy. Call out to him, and repeat the process. Your dog will obviously enjoy this game, but he's learning to turn back to you every time he catches a toy.
- After doing this several times, throw your dog’s first toy again. Call his name, but don’t throw the second toy.
- When he gets closer to you with the first toy in his mouth, give him the “Drop it” command and show him the second toy.
- When he drops his first toy, throw the second one.
- When he chases after the second toy, pick up his first toy and repeat the process.
- After a couple practices, your dog will understand that he should bring his toy back to you after you throw it, without the use for the second toy.
2. The Throw & Pull Method
Attach a leash or rope to his favorite toy and throw it while still holding the leash.
- If your dog catches it but doesn’t bring it back, wiggle the leash or rope and start running in the opposite direction. This is very likely to get your dog’s attention and he will start chasing you with the toy still in his mouth. Give him a treat when he does this (but not when he doesn't).
- If your dog drops the toy and doesn’t chase after it, wiggle the leash or rope a little more and start running away from him. He will chase after you and catch the toy. Give him a treat when he gets closer to you with the toy in his mouth.
- After a dozen or so practices, your dog should understand that he should bring his toy back to you after you throw it to him.
Because we think everything about dog ownership should be as easy as a game of fetch.