The Secrets of Teaching Your Dog To Fetch – Step by Step Instructions
step 1: Make sure your dog likes the toy you plan to use
Before you start make sure your dog likes the toy. If you choose an item he doesn't like it will be much harder to get him motivated.
step 2: start with the dog and the toy on a leash.
Start with your dog and the toy on a separate leash. This will give you greater control over what is happening.
step 3: use the leash to wave the toy around to get your dog's attention.
Wave the toy around on the leash.
Step 4: Reward the dog by letting him play with the toy for a while before repeating.
When the dog catches it, let him hold it for a while before taking it away.
Step 5: Repeat the process - starting with getting the dog's attention again
As soon as he lets go, start waving the toy around again
step 6: This is the First part of teaching the retrieve
This is the first part of teaching the retrieve. Don’t actually let go of the toy. Just engage your dog in a game of tug. Make the game active and exciting.
Step 7: Moving to the next phase of the training
When the dog is actively engaged with the toy, it is time to move to the next step. Take two leashes, join them together and attach them to the toy. This gives you a long line to use to control the toy. You know the dog likes the toy and will chase it but once he has it you want to make sure he comes back to you. The leash will help you achieve this.
step 8: hold on to the dog's collar and get his attention
Hold on to the dog’s collar and get the dog’s attention before throwing the toy. If your dog does not reliably come to you when called the dog should also be on a leash. It would probably be better to give some additional recall training before continuing with retrieve.
step 9: let the dog go and throw the ball at the same time
Let the dog go and throw the ball at the same time
step 10: reel in the leash to bring the dog back to you
Reel in the leash to bring the dog and to back to you. When the dog exhibits the behavior you want you should be encourage him with loud praise.
step 11: repeat a few times until you think the dog is ready to try it without the leash
Don’t take the toy from the dog straight away. Let him play with it for a while as a reward. Repeat this a few times until you think the dog is ready to try the task without you holding the leash.
step 12: repeat the exercise a few times without holding the leash
Repeat the procedure a few times with the leash still attached to the toy but without you holding it. Remember to train this activity you dog must reliably come when called. If not, you should have a leash on the dog.
step 13. the next step is to throw the toy without a leash
Once the dog is reliable returning to you with the toy with the leash attached, the next step is to throw the toy without the leash. However, it will not do any harm to continue with the leash attached for a few more repetitions.
step 13: the final stage of teaching your dog to fetch
After you have thrown your ball and your dog has retrieved it, you can call him and run away. This will encourage him to chase you and come back.
Check out this YouTube video by McCann Dogs to see this training method in more detail.