Teach Your Dog to Fetch and Catch!
Some dogs seem to be totally out of control, no matter how much you train them.
If your dog is like this, there’s probably one thing that you’re missing: that’s gonna make your training much easier and way more effective.
If you have an energetic dog, know that all the training in the world won’t do a thing unless you are exercising your dog.
However, all exercise is not equal.
There are two ways that people tend to exercise their dogs.
At least two default ways and that’s by giving their dogs walks or letting them play with other dogs. For some dogs that might be just fine, but for energetic and unsociable dogs, this probably isn’t the best approach.
A good game of fetch is the closest thing there is to a quick-fix in dog training and it seems to reduce or eliminate the overwhelming majority of behaviour problems.
Now, let’s have a quick review of fetch and exactly what I mean by fetch because there seems to be some confusion on this, especially by people who are new to training dogs with the fetch technique.
The simple explanation is that you throw or toy, ball or frisbee for your dog, and your dog brings it back to you, tail wagging, eyes widened, eagerly awaiting the next throw. However, you don’t actually teach fetch in this order.
The first step is teaching your dog how to play tug and let go with a toy. When you teach fetch to your dog, you want to introduce the concept with something that you can easily play tug-of-war with, in other words, not a ball but rather and strong and sturdy dog toy.
A good fetch starts with a good game of tug-of-war, really generating their interest in a toy and teaching them to let go is the tricky part as a dog’s natural instinct is to horde.
The last thing you want to do when teaching fetch is launching a toy and then just assuming that your dog can kind of figure it out because you’re gonna call them back and even if you do get some mild success with that approach, you’re gonna probably find lots of issues with your game, like your dog will get into the habit of playing keep-away or your dog will lose interest In the toy or they’ll get distracted by other things in their environment, that’s why we want to start teaching fetch very close up.
Once your dog is doing really well with tug-of-war and they’re letting go promptly, then you’ll want to start throwing the toy short distances to start the fetch and retrieve process.
Once your dog is getting good at making the fetch and retrieve turn at just a few inches in front of you, only then do you begin to increase the distance, encourage calls are advised, example, “good dog”, “good boy/girl” etc.
Once these mechanics are down. You can start to introduce other toys like balls, frisbees or whatever. Humans selectively bred dogs for a very long time to have lots of energy so that they can help us with tasks like herding, livestock and hunting and other things.
This is actually a very significant point when it comes to exercising your dog. All dogs were specifically and selectively bred to take direction, naturing the instinct of needing a leader or someone who can guide.
My theory is that when you implement exercise that involves you taking part in some form, a dog is more likely to be uniquely satisfied in ways that other forms of exercise do not offer. Even though our lifestyles have evolved.
Many of our dog’s genetics have still been optimized for lots of physical and mental activities that involve partnering with people.
Have a leash on at first.
You want to make sure that you’re in a position to keep your dog from running off, that’s a really common issue that develops with fetch.
We want to stop those habits before they even begin, of course, as fetch evolves, you’ll need a longer leash. Like a 20 foot leash, to ensure your dog brings back the toy very reliably whilst gaining plenty of exercise.
I don’t expect you to get a flock of sheep or take part in hunting activities to exercise your dog and if dogs have shown us anything, it’s that they’re more than willing to adapt to our lifestyle.
As long as we can meet them halfway. One unique quality about dogs is that they’re predisposed to take direction from people.
Don’t get me wrong, walking your dog and letting them play with other dogs is great for mild exercise and actually, that might even be enough for many lower-energy dogs, but again for the really really high intense dogs out there, (and there are many), you really have a lot more play actively with them early in the day that way you can enjoy the benefit of having a calm and relaxed dog throughout the day.
Once you get that energy depleted early, think about how you feel after a workout, for example, you likely feel a lot more content and just better in general.
That’s what we’re trying to do for our dog, you’re, not limited to fetch, it just happens to be one of the easier ways to exercise your dog if you’re short on time.
But if you want to give them even more exercise, there are lots of great dog sports out there.
You can participate in activities like flyball, k9 frisbee, dog agility classes, and so many more. it’s important to give your dog appropriate breaks during exercise and another common pitfall that people deal with when teaching their dog fetch is that they might throw the ball to their dog four, five or six times, and then their dog is pretty winded and they take a break and a lot of people assume that their dog is done playing fetch.
But that’s not really true for most dogs, in other words, you just need to give them a little bit of a break for a few minutes at a time to recover and then resume playing fetch with them over about a Cumulative thirty minutes to an hour depending on your dog, but for dogs that are super fetch obsessed, its up to the owner as they will understand their dog better than anybody. Also make sure that water is on hand for a nice, deserved, water time out for your dog.
This ultimately leads to a pleasant and enjoyable exercise session for your dog. You want to bring your dog’s energy up on your terms and your schedule and deplete that energy on demand.
That’s why fetch is amazing, think about it. If you knew you had an event at your house drop it and you wanted to get your dog’s energy out of them.
You could just simply go in the back yard or at a nearby park and get all of that energy out. So they’ll be much easier to communicate with.
This is a much more natural way to satisfy your dog mentally and physically. For those of you with those high-energy dogs, you’re not entitled to a well-behaved dog and bypassing quality exercise is likely not an option for you.
Furthermore, exercise serves as more than just recreation for your dog it’ll be necessary for you to vigorously exercise high-energy dogs before training so that their pent-up energy has been released.
When a dog’s energy is released, they’re far more receptive to learning basic to advanced skills quickly. Exercising your dog regularly will resolve probably 90 plus per cent of unwanted behavioural issues and empower you to teach them virtually anything you want.
The symbiotic relationship between people and dogs is such that if you give them the exercise and activity and everything that they desire they’re much more likely to do what you ask of them.
The bond you form with your dog is the most powerful thing you can have when it comes to teaching them and nothing builds a bond better than playing fetch and retrieve with your dog.