How to Teach a Dog to Fetch

How to Teach a Dog to Fetch

Teaching your dog how to fetch different things like toys, stick or any objects is not easy if you are beginner. But with proper step by step training with patience, you can easily teach your dog how to fetch a toy. As dogs love playing or pleasing their owners and fetch different things for you.  

Some dogs are quick learner who will understand the fetch game in a heart bit and learn to fetch any object such as a ball, a toy or even a stick. Just throw the object and dog will bring back to you! If you have one of these kinds of dogs then you are going to have lot of fun playing with your furry friend from the day one.  

For those with a dog who doesn’t understand the game of fetch, needs some time to learn the fetch game. Nothing to worry there are ways to teach a dog to fetch toy or object so that both of you can enjoy the playtime.   

You must be thinking, what can you do to teach a dog to fetch game like a pro? So here’s How to Teach a Dog to Fetch? 


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How to Teach Your Dog to Fetch?
Following how to teach a dog to fetch toy guide will help you train your dog slowly but easily. Make sure to follow the steps mentioned in following how to train a dog to fetch guide to make your playtime full of fun. I would say it is one of the best ways to exercise with your dog.


Introduce the Fetch Toy 

Once you have fetch toy, introduce it to your dog so that it starts to get curious and excited. Place the toy near you, as your dog gets close to it, appreciate, click and give a treat. Usually dogs love toys but if not then keep rewarding your dog until it starts playing with it. 

Check out popular dog balls to teach fetch.


Move the Fetch Toy Around 

Now that your dog has learned about rewards in form of treat or praise for grabbing or touching the fetch toy, start moving toy around little far so that your dog has to move to get to it. Do not throw the fetch toy yet, and keep moving it. 

Now, try to hold the toy in slightly different positions at the length of the arm and encourage your dog to touch it. Every time they touch the toy, treat, click, and appreciate. Continue this small variation until you are sure the behavior has stuck.  

Get the Dog to Grab the Toy 

Now it is time to start rewarding your dog when they grab the toy with their mouth. It can take small patience on your part. The key is to watch the behavior and reward your dog whenever it grabs the fetch toy.  

Place the fetch toy on the ground at about the length of the arm. If your dog moves from touching their nose to the toy and starts using their mouth, it is time to treat, click, and praise. 

Every time your dog grabs the toy, continue to reward. Also whenever they pick up the toy with their mouth, act like it is the good thing you have ever seen. Remember, your dog will be looking to you for reassurance that they are on the right track. Use high pitch voice or clicker to recognize the good behavior.  

Play Little Games of Indoor Fetch 

At this point, your dog should know, grabbing the toy in mouth means a treat. The next phase is little trickiest, but you should follow a similar method of rewarding little steps toward success. 

Toss the toy some feet away from you. When they pick it up, treat, click, and appreciate. Continue this unless they understand what they are supposed to do. Then toss the toy as well as encourage your dog to bring it back to you. When dog does it, praise, click and treat.  

Throw the Fetch Toy Farther 

Once your dog has realized, that it gets treats as reward upon bring toy back, begin upping the ante by throwing the toy farther. 

Consider to play this game in larger space, may be a hallway to toss the fetch toy farther or farther away.  With every successful fetch, offer treats and appreciate, then toss the toy a small farther. Repeat as a lot of times as necessary for your dog to understand what this fetch game is all about.  

Add Some Words 

This part is optional. If you will like to add a marker word such as fetch, now is the time to do so. Say the word before throwing the toy, then lay it on heavy with treats as well as appreciate when dog successfully fetch for you and say something such as good fetch. 

Obviously, it isn’t important to say fetch or another same word. By this point, your dog has likely learned to enjoy the game itself with and without a verbal cue. 

How to teach a dog to fetch


Take the Game of Fetch Outside 

Up to this point, you are playing fetch game indoor, where things are well and quiet. But now it is time to head outdoor where your dog may get distracted easily. 

Start in a secured fenced space like a backyard and other enclosed spot. If you do not have such a yard, try a place such as park or playground when it is quiet and not crowded. 

If your dog is not still best at going off-leash, learn how to train them, and be safe when off-leash. You should make sure to bring treats to reward your dog for their small effort. 

Play fetch as you have played at the home indoor, tossing the toy farther, farther away, and rewarding your dog for successfully bringing it back to you.  

What if My Dog Is Not taking Interest in Playing Fetch? 

The main objective of this exercise is to show the dog that fun comes from playing with the toy or with you. 

Get 4 or 5 toys that your dog enjoys playing with and set them in a circle.  Outdoor, in a secured fenced place is better for this. But if you do not have access to an enclosed outdoor place, a big indoor space will work too. 

Begin playing with one of the toys with your dog. When your dog also comes along and start playing with you, run to the next toy. If your dog follows you then start playing with the new toy with your dog, again make sure to be super excited. 

If your dog is yet playing with the first toy, play with the new toy by yourself.  This’s when it’s essential to act like you’re having a good time playing with this toy. Your dog will need to join in the fun and come over to you and the new toy. 

Continue this exercise, running from toy to toy. If you do this exercise a couple of times a week, your dog will learn, it will be fun time for both you and your dog and it will build bonding between both of you. 

Now as you know how to teach a dog to fetch toy, get started your dog training to add some fun in routine while building the strong bond. 

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How to teach a dog to fetch toy

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