A friend suggested playing fetch as the perfect solution. This seems a great idea as the dog has to run, fetch the toy, and bring it back to you. This way the dog gets to run around heaps while you could potentially take it easy sitting on a park bench.
However, all did not go well. It seems the dog knows exactly what you're about and is disinterested and lazy when it comes to fetch. You toss the ball and he stares vaguely after it, as if playing fetch is all too much trouble. This is doubly frustrating as he then came home and dug up your prize garden plant.
The majority of dogs that appear lazy in this way, simply don't understand what you are trying to achieve and aren't motivated enough to run after the toy. Once they grasp the idea of fetch, most come to love the game.
Teaching a lazy dog to fetch simply means engaging the dog with the toy, to make it more desirable. Another great strategy to help him understand what's required is to start at the end and teach the dog to play with the toy, before tossing it for him to bring back.
Once the dog gets the hang of things, play in different places. A change of environment is confusing for a dog, and he may revert to being lazy if the location is different. But when he comes to love the game for its own sake, he'll be prepared to play anywhere and everywhere.
Here are our suggestions to get things moving:
He's not lazy at all, he just plays tug of war until I rip it from his mouth. The problem is, he thinks the process is fetch the toy, bring it to me, and wait for me to snatch the toy from his mouth.
I don't want him to destroy the toy through ripping it out of his mouth to throw it over and over again. How do I teach him to PROPERLY play fetch?
Hello Kien, Lucky needs to learn a "Drop It" command. Check out the article that I have linked below. First, follow the 'Without Treats' method, then follow the 'Phase out' method. https://wagwalking.com/training/fetch You can also do this with treats instead of balls by teaching 'Drop It'. 1. To teach 'Drop It', when he brings the ball to you, place a treat against his nose, tell him 'Drop It' and put your hand under his mouth to catch the ball when he drops it. 2. Be patient. If you chose a treat that he likes, then he should drop the ball after a couple of seconds, to get the treat. 3. When he drops the ball, then praise him and give him the treat. Practice this until he will drop the ball quickly when you tell him to 'Drop It' and produce a treat. 4. When he will drop the ball quickly, then put the treat somewhere behind you, out of sight, but pretend like you have a treat in your hand still. Tell him to 'Drop It' while you hold your other hand under his chin and act like you have a treat with your hand, then wait. 5. As soon as he drops the ball, grab the treat from behind your back and give it to him while you praise him. 6. Practice this until he will drop the ball right away when he hears 'Drop It' and sees your hand. 7. Next, put your hand under his chin and tell him to 'Drop It' but don't show him your other hand. Wait to see if he will drop the ball into your hand without you pretending to have a treat. 8. If he does, then grab a treat from behind your back and give it to him and praise him. 9. Eventually, you can phase out the treats and play with two toys with him. One behind your back and one to throw. When he drops the first toy when you tell him 'Drop It', then throw the second toy. After practicing with two toys, you should be able to transition to just one toy again. 1. If he will not come all the way to you, then play fetch with a 20'-30' foot leash on him --but don't throw the ball far so that the leash does not get tugged, and be ready to drop the end of the leash while he is in a safe area, if he goes too far. 2. When you are playing with him, if he refuses to bring the ball all the way back, then tell him 'Fetch' and reel him in with the leash, then practice 'Drop It' or trading him a second ball when he gets there. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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