So, What’s the Secret to Getting a Dog to Play Fetch?
Many people find it very frustrating to teach their dog to play fetch. Often they throw the ball, the dog grabs it and runs away and does not bring it back. I am going to share with you a technique that usually works in solving this common problem.
First of all, you need to buy two squeaky balls that look almost the same. Carry one of the balls in your pocket, occasionally showing your dog this valued ball. Have fun making this ball the best thing in the world. Bounce the ball and then take it quickly away teasing him with it. Always stop ball play and leave him wanting more. Think of the ball as the squirrel your dog “rarely” catches. You control these balls and the access to them. When the dog gets excited and runs to you when you show him your ball, we are ready to teach him how to play fetch
Take both balls and hold one in your pocket and hold the other one in your hand. Squeak the ball in your hand and then throw it in one direction. He will quickly chase and grab the thrown ball, now reach into your pocket and grab the other ball. Call his name and squeak the ball several times. At this point he should run to you carrying the ball you had thrown in his mouth. When he gets to you, tease him with the ball in your hand and squeak it. He should release the ball in his mouth in anticipation of getting the ball you are carrying. As soon as he drops the ball, throw the ball in your hand in the opposite direction of your last toss. You should basically be the monkey in the middle. Never throw the ball over your dog’s head, as this makes him not come in close when retrieving the ball. You want the dog to drop the ball basically at your feet and not back up in anticipation of the next throw. By throwing the ball in the opposite direction of the previous toss, the dog will retrieve the ball very closely. Repeat throwing a ball, and then picking up the one he has just dropped and squeak it. Do this over and over and pretty soon your dog will get the idea that running to you with the ball in his mouth and dropping it at your feet makes you throw another ball. He gets to have the chase over and over.
Remember that you always want to end the ball game when your dog still wants to play more and has not gotten tired and quit. Make sure the two squeaky balls remain in your control and that your dog only has access to them when “YOU” want to play ball.
(Original Article posted on CanineMaster.com blog)