Dog Fetch Fails – How To Teach Your Dog To Fetch


Dogs / Thursday, June 18th, 2015

The internet seems to be obsessed with videos of dogs doing silly things. One of the latest videos to go viral featured dogs failing spectacularly at trying to fetch balls. Sometimes they just don’t get it right. They might not be paying attention or they could just have reactions that are just a bit too slow.‘Fetch’ is a well known game to play with dogs, it’s something that owners have done with their dogs for decades. It’s a great game for burning off some energy and providing your dog with some much needed mental stimulation.

Some dogs absolutely love fetching a ball, they would spend all day long playing with their ball if their owners let them. Whereas other dogs, just aren’t interested in getting a ball and bringing it back to their owner. Their owner will throw the ball and they will sit there with a look that says I just cannot be bothered to go get that ball, or they might just be completely confused over what you want them to do.

Here is a video of some hilarious dog fetch fails –

Perhaps the reason why this video has become so popular is because owners can relate to it. There is an unrealistic expectation that all dogs should be able to fetch. In reality, it’s not an essential skill unless you want it to be. If you are having trouble teaching your dog to fetch then here are some helpful tips:

  • It doesn’t always have to be a ball. Choose the toy that your dog likes the most and get them to fetch that, you can then graduate to a ball once they have mastered the basics.
  • Reward them as soon as they bring the object back to you.
  • Work on getting them to bring the object to you before you begin to throw it.
  • Start by throwing the object very small distances, and gradually increase the distance as they get the hang of it.
  • When throwing the object say the word ‘fetch’ (or any word of your choice) so that they associate this with getting the object.
  • Repetition is very important, your dog is unlikely to master fetch in the first few goes. Give them lots of praise and positive reinforcement.
  • Start teaching fetch inside your house, then you can graduate to other places such as your garden and then finally at the park where there will be lots of distractions.
  • Once your dog has learned to bring objects back to you try to phase out the treats as they will get enough reward simply by playing the game.
  • Lots of dogs will instinctively want to go and get an object if you throw it. If your dog is reluctant to retrieve then start by developing their interesting in the object. Give them treats for sniffing or making contact with it and gradually work up to throwing it.

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