Playing fetch with your dog is a great way to strengthen the bond between you while also providing them with some valuable exercise.
Some dogs will chase after the toy but won’t bring it back, while others simply look at you with a confused expression wondering why you keep throwing the ball away!
Helping your dog to learn to retrieve and return a ball or other object can be as simple as finding a toy he really likes and getting him to return it. Eventually use this to progress to a tennis ball.
Don’t hit the ball too far away, but as you tap the ball shout ‘Fetch’ and let the dog run after the ball. As you progress you can hit the ball further away, each time give plenty of praise and encouragement so he will bring the ball back each time.
If your dog is not returning with the ball, you can use a second ball hidden in your pocket. Get his attention and act as if you are just about to throw the second ball.
Hopefully your dog will drop the first one and come to you to play with the second. Not all dogs will respond to this so trial and error is needed to find out what suits your pet.
If you want to make it more fun and beneficial for you, race the dog to get to the ball first. Get creative and move yourself around, your dog can be your exercise buddy as well as your friend.
Make sure to be patient and set aside some time to train your pet. Follow the guidelines set out above and after a while you will both be enjoying some fun games of fetch.
Different dogs have different needs and their exercise needs vary greatly. If your pooch is overweight, we recommend you start off slowly and for short period of time. You will then be able to build up to a more active longer exercise play. Make sure you are in a dog friendly safe place, where your dog has room to run around. Always be prepared and bring your poop scoop with you!