How to train a dog to fetch: Puppies often have more energy to burn than they know how to handle. Consequently, if they have no acceptable way to vent their energy, they will find methods that their owners may find unacceptable. Not only does a good fetch session help mitigate this problem, but it also allows your puppy to work for you, instead of against you. This strengthens your leadership role with your dog. Some dogs will learn to fetch more rapidly than others, but it is well worth the time and effort required.
1. Choose an object (squeaky toy, ball, etc…) that your dog loves. Use this toy only when playing fetch. All other times you should keep this toy out of reach because in order to teach the game you must keep your dogs interest level high.
2. Tease your puppy briefly with the object and then roll it a short distance, giving the command, “Take or “Fetch”. If your dog goes to it and takes it, praise him or her and encourage them to come back to you. It is advisable to always have him/her on a leash when first teaching this so that you can guide your dog back to you.
3. If your puppy fails to show an interest, go to the object, pick it up, hold it in front of them and encourage him/her to follow as you take a few quick steps back away from them. Praise any following response. This will often stimulate interest.
4. When you are ready to take the object, as you give the command “Out” or “Give”, trade your puppy for a piece of food. Praise them immediately, and throw the toy again. Clicker training also works well when you want to “let a dog know” they are doing the right thing accompanied by food.
This can require patience in some instances, but pups that are taught this type of game are frequently more manageable and cooperative because they have learned to work for you and have fun doing it! it is important, therefore to keep your training sessions fun. Don’t overdo it; always quit with your puppy wanting more. Initially, three or four fetches may be enough , but once taught, many pups can be given a good deal of exercise easily and enjoyably.