Fetching is instinctual and is a great source of exercise for your canine companion! Though some breeds are known by name to be fetchers, like the golden retriever, it is a behavior that spans many breeds. It is theorized that the prey instinct in canines is at the root of this behavior. Some dogs simply feel compelled to chase and grab any fast moving small object. If you have a dog that can’t play fetch enough, Wag N’ Wash® can help with a variety of products.
Here are some simple instructions to get your pal fetching like a champion golden retriever. Some dogs have a high fetch IQ, and won’t need as much coaxing to enjoy this wonderful activity—but some of us just wonder what exactly you think throwing that ball and staring us is going to accomplish. Either way, these steps will help those pups who do not know to fetch, to love to fetch!
Let’s start with the basics. The best way to get your friend interested in fetching is with a simple reward system. Show them the ball, let them see that you’re excited by it, and if they show an interest in it give them a treat. This way your friend learns to be very excited about their new favorite toy. Do this a couple more times until they’ve really gotten the hang of it.
Now you can start dropping the ball out in front of you. If your friend reacts excitedly, especially if they pick it up for you, give them another treat. It’s important to be just as excited about the ball as you want your friend to be. They take their cues from you, and only care about the ball because you do. That’s a special friend if I’ve ever seen one!
After your pal gets the hang of that, try throwing the ball a little further. Not too far, you could even do this step inside. Throw it just far enough for your friend to have to chase and bring it back. Just like the earlier steps, give your pal a treat and a rubdown every time they bring the ball back to you, and always be excited. Once they’ve gotten the hang of close distance fetch, it’s time to take them out for the real deal.
This activity is not only a great way to help your dog burn off energy, but it creates a great bonding and confidence building environment for you and your friend.