You’re out on a walk. The sun is out, there are fields all around you and it’s just you and your canine companion. You’ve brought one of his favorite toys out on the walk, an old, soggy tennis ball. There’s nothing he loves more than bounding through the fields trying to catch it. The only thing is, he’s so stubborn that when he catches the ball, he refuses to give it back. While this was entertaining to start with, now it just means you can never play fetch on the walk because he won’t return it.
Training him to fetch therefore will come in handy for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if he brings it back you can give him plenty more exercise with the short sprinting that comes with fetch. Secondly, this type of training asserts your control and will make it easier to teach him other commands too.
Training him to fetch wouldn’t necessarily be easy anyway, but if he’s particularly stubborn then you’ve really got your work cut out. Fortunately, there is still a way around his challenging behavior. You need to find something that he wants even more than the toy you’ve thrown for him. As you can probably imagine, some strong smelling, mouth-watering food will do a pretty fantastic job of getting him on task. If he’s a puppy he should respond swiftly to training and you may see results in just a few days. If he’s old with years of ignoring your instructions under his collar then you may need a couple of weeks.
Succeed with this training and you’ve got the perfect foundation to turn him into a hunting dog. If he can master fetch, he could help you retrieve game and other prey you hunt.
Before you can get going you’ll need a few things. Get your hands on a few tennis balls and a brightly colored frisbee. Then stock up on tasty treats or his favorite food. The more he loves the reward, the easier training will be.
You’ll need a large space to practice, free from other dogs and distractions. You’ll also need to set aside some time for training when you’re on your daily walk.
The only other thing you need is an optimistic attitude and then you’re all set to get started!