Teaching a dog to fetch items
Fetching is a difficult skill. It can be included in any the general course of dog training. The command means giving a thrown item to the owner. How to teach a dog to do such thing? What should be considered and what to avoid?
Benefits of the command
All skills in dogs develop in a game form because the dog should enjoy the execution of commands. Teaching a young pet needs from childhood. With that approach our trainers help develop following skills in your dog:
- Orientation in space, a search of territory.
- Building logical actions.
- Control its own emotions, endurance.
- Getting full exercise.
- Establishment of close contact between the host and the dog.
Before we start teaching the dog to understand “fetch” command, the dog should already know the "down", "sit", "heel" commands.
So, we start by choosing an item. They can be special accessories in the form of sticks, rubber bones or squeaking toys, frisbee, balls. Then we show to the dog a chosen item and tease it by grabbing it with our teeth. We emphasize the action with the "take it" command. Then we praise its performance. When the dog clearly and quickly performs the above action, we must to complicate the task
When the dog confidently picks up the object thrown on one or two meters, we proceed to the next stage. We increase the throw distance and each time we throw the item, we must strictly and clearly exclaim the command.
If the dog begins to tease, tries to play and doesn’t give the item, then we need to strictly say "give." If the dog doesn’t want to execute the command, by gently slapping its lower jaw, it’ll release the item. Of if we exchange the item for a favorite treat.
When a dog learns to fetch an object, it must be replaced by another. Instead of a stick, we can use a ball, bone, or frisbee. First, we give it to the dog to sniff, then we say the command. The dog must perform it perfectly with different items and settings: in the field, forest, on the training ground. The place of training also needs to be changed so that the dog can learn the skill, regardless of external circumstances.
The training should be performed daily, repeating the command 3-4 times, and then taking a break for 5-10 minutes. After the dog clearly learns the skill, we don’t need to use the delicacy anymore.