Ask the Trainer with Doug Hicks

Pure Obedience Dog and Puppy Training, St. Louis

QuestionMy dog, a retriever mix, will not fetch. Is this something I just have to accept or are there ways of tempting her to go get the ball?


AnswerThis can depend on the dog, the breed, and the age. Fetch is a great way to build a relationship with your dog. Most retriever breeds have the instinct to fetch birds or other game for their people. Most of them also have some sort of toy “drive” and the desire to please their guardians. If your dog doesn’t want to fetch, it could be because she doesn’t know it’s a game. To get her excited about a ball or the toy she loves the most, try this: While on a long leash, roll the ball and say, “fetch.” Then run with her to go get it. (This is a great time to teach the “take it” or “get it” command as well!) Have her pick it up and give lots of praise when she does. Then take a couple steps away and say, “bring it” while gently pulling it to you. When your dog comes to you, offer her lots of praise. When she releases it, you can teach the “drop it” command, too. And remember, this is playtime, so stay excited and don’t get frustrated!

Doug Hicks and MistyAbout the Trainer:

Having a love for animals and wanting to help them, Doug trains dogs and people. By helping people understand dog behavior and how to modify it, he helps create the best relationship possible between people and their furry four-legged friends!

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