Most dogs like to fetch and enjoy playing this game their entire lives. The most common problem with teaching a dog to fetch is that they lose interest after the first couple of times.
That’s because most people don’t know how to teach it in an enjoyable manner, or because there are no guidelines for continuing play sessions if the dog loses interest.
You can avoid these problems quickly if a couple of guidelines are followed.
1. The dog must be taught to fetch from the beginning, otherwise, this will become a battle of breaking bad habits later on. A puppy is easiest to train for this game because they have very few habits at that stage in life.
If you have an older dog, you’ll need to put some extra time into teaching the game.
2. Your dog must like this game, if he doesn’t (most don’t initially) then it will never become a fun activity for him. The best way to make him like it is to play often during the puppy stage until he can run all day if you want.
3. Your dog must be healthy and not overweight. If he is, you’ll need to figure out how to increase his exercise as well as play fetch regularly.
4. You should never force your dog to fetch, if he gets tired of chasing the object or tires of dropping it at your feet then stop playing for a while.
5. Fetch is not the only game you should play with your dog, it’s just one of them! If you spend all your time training for this game then you’ll be neglecting other games that are healthy for an intelligent dog like tugs, hide & seek and chase.
6. The number one rule in playing fetch is that you should never play it for more than 20 minutes at a time. It’s good to go much longer sometimes, but 20 minutes is the max.
7. When your dog gets tired or loses interest, give him one minute to do whatever he wants before calling it quits. Some dogs will lay down right away, others may take an extra minute to do something else. That’s OK.
8. You should always use an object that floats or will sink, otherwise you’ll be stuck with playing in the house or yard only. I like tennis balls because they can last for years under normal conditions and many dogs love to fetch them even if they don’t swim after them!
9. If you use a ball, don’t throw it like a basketball player shooting free throws. That’s too hard on the dog’s mouth and teeth! Use an overhand motion that will travel low through the air; this will keep your dog running longer without tiring out as quickly.
10. Don’t play fetch with more than two dogs at a time, it’s too hard to split your attention between them. If you have more than one dog, wait until each is tired before playing with the other one.
In conclusion, playing fetch with your dog can be a fun pastime so as long as you teach them from an early age the rules of this fun-filled game.