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Thread: Fetch?

  1. #1
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    Fetch?

    Does anyone know how I start to teach a dog to fetch. When I throw a ball, he just looks at me as if to say...FETCH IT YOURSELF!

    Any help welcomed.

    Debbie






  2. #2
    Intermediate Member newbear's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I have a solution here that may help you. First, you need to find out which type of toys do your dog like. Get lots of different kinds of toys (example: a dumbell, tennis balls, squeaker toys, frisbee if your dog loves to jump in the air, soft toys, tug rope, etc). Try out the different toys with your dog, play a game of tug with him, bounce the tennis ball on the ground, squeak the toys etc. Do anything to get him excited with the toy. Use the toy that he likes most to play a game of fetch with him. Throw the toy after your dog get excited with the toy. He will most likely run after the toy. If he don't run after the toy, run after the toy yourself and get it back to show him the way. Hopefully, he will run after the toy after a few repetitions. Its okay for now that he does not grab the toy or get the toy back to you.
    If he runs after the toy but does not grab it, teach him the "take it" cue. There are a few methods of teaching this cue. You can choose any of the below methods or try all of them.
    1) Put your dog's favourite toy in front of him (you can point at the toy to show him what you want him to do). Wait until he grabs the toy. When he grabs the toy, immediately praise him with an enthusiastic tone and give him a jackpot of his favourite treats.
    2) Play with your dog using his favourite toy. Once he gets excited with the toy, observe carefully to see if he grabs the toy. Immediately praise him with an enthusiastic tone and give him a jackpot of his favourite treats after he grabs the toy.
    3) Break the process into simple steps. Put your dog's favourite toy on the floor and let your dog look at it. When your dog looks at the toy, praise him with an enthusiastic tone and give him a favourite treat. Repeat this process a few times. Next, when your dog looks at the toy, do not praise or give him a treat. Wait and see what he does. If he started to paw or target the toy with his nose or sniff the toy, praise him with an enthusiastic tone and give him a treat. Repeat this process a few times. Next, do not praise him or give him a treat when he paw or target the toy with his nose or sniff the toy. Wait and see what he does. He will most likely grab the toy. Immediately praise him with an enthusiastic tone and give him a jackpot of his favourite treats if that happens.
    When you dog knows how to grab the toy, repeat the process until he is reliable in grabbing the toy. Once he is reliable in taking the toy, add in a verbal cue (example: take it). Throw the toy on the floor directly in front of you and cue your dog to "take it". It will be more useful if you point at the toy to help your dog understand what you want him to do. Once he grabs the toy, praise him with an enthusiastic tone and give him a jackpot of his favourite treats. Gradually increase the distance you throw the toy. Once your dog is reliable in taking the toy despite how far you throw the toy, give yourself a pat on the shoulders as you are halfway through teaching your dog to fetch.
    Next you need to teach your dog to bring the toy back to you and drop it in front of you or put it on your hand. Throw the toy and cue your dog to take the toy. Once he take the toy, call him back to you in an enthusiastic tone. Let him see that you have his favourite treats. Cue "drop it"and give him a jackpot of his favourite treats once he drops the toy. Additional tip: If you want your dog to drop the toy on your hand, follow the instructions above but put your hand under his mouth and cue "give". Repeat the process until your dog is reliable in dropping or giving you the toy.
    Now say "fetch" as you throw the toy and gruadually drop the cues "take it", "come" and "drop it" or "give" one by one. Repeat the whole process until your dog could do the whole process when you ask him to fetch reliably. Additional tip: Try asking your dog to fetch at different places with different levels of distraction and try asking your dog to fetch different toys.
    If your dog could do it, congratulations! You have finally teach your dog how to fetch. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. Please tell me if these methods work for your dog. I will be looking forward to your reply! Thanks and have a great time training your dog!





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    I find that using a ball that squeaks is a great help to get the dog to come back after I have thrown a ball for him
    I use 2 of these balls
    As soon as the dog catches the ball that was thrown I squeak the second ball
    That gets the dog's attention and he returns to me
    I then throw the second ball
    He drops the first ball and goes after the second ball





  4. #4
    Administrator jude09's Avatar
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    ^ My dog has a different reaction to squeaky balls Gail, he seems to get frightened by it.

    But it's all good because I use it as a correction tool to help him understand if he does something bad.




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    WOW!!!!! Thanks newbear!





  6. The Following User Says Thank You to elemlamb For This Useful Post:

    newbear (06-18-2010)

  7. #6
    Intermediate Member newbear's Avatar
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    You are welcome, elemlamb, hope these methods help you. Feel free to ask me any questions. Tell me if there is any progress in your dog. Will be waiting for your reply!





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    Train your dog in reverse, meaning train the last thing first. What is the last thing..."Dropping the ball at your feet". Here's how to do just that....

    ** The dog has to have something in his mouth, stand directly in front of him as he drops it at your feet.

    ** Get something he loves to pick up
    ** Catch him throughout the day picking something up
    ** Run in front of him & give him a treat

    ** He will soon realize if he drops something at your feet,,, he gets a treat.

    REWARD = DROPS IT AT YOUR FEET

    Try it...it works!!!! Please let me know how it goes.





  9. #8
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    Thank you all for your advice. I started playing with his ball near my feet and rewarding him when he dropped it. Then when I threw it just a short way, if he ran over and touched it with his nose, I rewarded him. Then, it was only a matter of time and he know brings back anything we through...Fantastic! We got there eventually...all in all, it took only a couple of hours in total.

    Thanks again to you all.





  10. #9
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    Glad to hear it's working Debbie. You and your dog will have hours of fun.





  11. #10
    Newbie Sue Mc.'s Avatar
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    Fun time! I wish a had 'newbear' around when I had my 1st dog, a sweet miniature schnauzer, back in the 1970's -- he'd run after things, mouth them, and chew, but he never would retrieve anything! His breeders said this was 'natural for a schnauzer' as they were bred to run prey into a hole (ie. badgers or rats) kill them and leaave them. The strange thing is that my parents owned another little schnauzer 'would retrieve'!--but he had a 'wavy undercoat' which the groomer said was a 'throwback' to the small black poodles that the earlier schnauzers were inbred with to bring the size of the breed down. He was 'bouncier' and actually loved to retrieve balls & toys. The only time I saw mom's dog influence my own dog was when they both would hold the opposite ends of the same long branch and run happily across the lawn together and play tug with the stick! It was not fetching, but at least he did pick something up!





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