A Good Game of Fetch
We asked Mike from Asphalt Paving Nashville to tell us how he was able to teach his dog “Blue” how to fetch. Here is what he had to say.
An old school game of ‘Fetch’ with your canine friend not only helps you get more close to them but can be immensely therapeutic for your dog. If your dog has developed the habit of digging, chewing or scratching on things while being confined in the house or is an excessive jumper or pulls at their leash too much while on walks, it might signify that they are not getting the desired mental and physical stimulation that is required for them and teaching them, ‘How to Fetch’ can help them reach a state of physical and mental fulfillment.
Start by involving your dog in a game of ‘Tug of War’ with you. Use an elongated chew toy or any other toy your dog is comfortable with and simply pull on it gently while your dog is holding on to it and you will see them doing the same. Continue and repeat this game with your dog for a while and get them involved.
It is important to teach your dog to give back the toy or to let go of the toy and the best way to do this is to act disinterested for a moment through your body language. This will make them let go of the toy. Do not use a harsh tone or hide the toy, once you have it, instead make them wait for it, make eye contact, use definitive and assertive hand gestures or voice commands ushering them to wait, before giving them back the toy. This will establish the idea of when to hold on and let go of the toy.
Make your dog chase you over short distances initially, to get them introduced to the concept of fetching. If running isn’t possible then simply throw the toy over short distances and use loud and exaggerated movements to get your dog excited and involved in chasing it. If your dog is a little too energetic for you to handle, it is advisable to take them for a walk right before you play fetch with them.
It is important to teach your dog to bring the toy back to you and the best way to go about this is to simply make them chase you, once they have retrieved the toy. If chasing isn’t an option simply mimic the motion of exaggeratedly pulling on a rope or a similar hand motion and you will see they will run back to you. Canines respond to exaggerated motion and like people who are excited so always be excited while teaching your dog how to play fetch, except when you want them to hand over the toy. This way they will understand the game better.
- Do not use treats while teaching your dog how to fetch. It is important for them to know that the toy is the prize. If they become distracted or disinterested with the toy at any point, simply move it around. Dogs get attracted to moving things than things that are stationary, so bring the toy to life for them.
- Begin with a toy your dog is comfortable with. Fetch is a new game and once they understand it they will play fetch with almost anything. If your dog gets interested in any other article while playing fetch, rather than taking that article away, simply make the concerned toy more interesting by moving it around and bringing it to life for them.
- Always be excited and use exaggerated movements, make noises while teaching your dog the game. This will motivate them and keep them excited.
- If your dog is excited about playing fetch indoors but loses interest once they are outside, do not worry. Give them time to adapt. It is advisable to give your dog about 5-10 minutes to adapt to their new environment, even if it is your backyard.
- The best time to play Fetch is in the morning. However, you can do it anytime during the day when it is not too hot or humid.
- Be patient and go over the steps every day. It roughly takes between 1-10 weeks for a dog to learn how to play ‘Fetch’.
We hope you have enjoyed these tips. If you are in the Nashville visit Mike at: http://www.asphaltpavingnashville.com/