Brittany Spaniels were bred to be hunting dogs; they are excellent as fowl hunters and can not only point out the birds but can also be trained to retrieve your quarry. These dogs are incredibly active and fun-loving. They have exceptional energy levels that they need to run down from time to time. One great way to help your pup burn off a large amount of this energy is to teach him how to play a rousing game of fetch.
Keep in mind that Brittany dogs tend to be very sensitive and, as such, do not respond well to punishment or negative training methods. By far, the best methods of training your pup to fetch are those that involve positive reinforcement. This is a fun game for your pup to learn to play-- the more enjoyable you make training sessions, the faster your pup is likely to learn.
The idea behind fetch is that you train your dog to retrieve one item in multiple locations indoors and out using his senses of smell and sight. Since Brits are exceptional hunting dogs, they have an extremely well-developed sense of smell. Tracking comes naturally to the breed, which in turn makes it easy for you to take advantage of this natural ability and put it to good use.
Fetch actually comes naturally to many dogs, including Brits, which will also make training your pup to perform this trick easier. While you will be using treats during the training process, once your pup has mastered this simple skill, he will be more than happy to play fetch just for the fun of it. With a little hard work and patience, your dog will soon add another skill to his bag of tricks.
Before you start trying to train your Brit to fetch, he should have already mastered the four basic commands. These include, 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down'. By teaching him these first, you are establishing control over his behavior, which will make teaching him to fetch much easier. You will also need a few training supplies along the way. These include:
You will also need plenty of space indoors and out to train in, a quiet time to train each day, and plenty of patience while you work with your pup to teach him how to play fetch.
I throw a ball, and tell my dog to drop it. After he does,I pick up the ball,and throw it. Is this the proper way to train my dog to play fetch? I didn't need to use treats, but I don't see him pant or sweat, but he looks like he doesn't want to play. Is he mentally tired, or is he associating "drop it" with not actually chasing the ball, but instead, leaving it alone at all times?
Hello Kien, Some dogs, like Retrievers, naturally will bring you a ball and all you have to teach is the "Drop It" command. Other dogs have to be taught interest in balls, to come back to you with the ball, and to drop the ball. If your dog already does those other things on his own, you can simply keep playing like you are. Keep your energy fun and happy so that he looks forward to the game. If he thinks you are in a good mood, he is more likely to relax and have fun. If you feel like he needs extra motivation to enjoy the game, check out the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-uUQE32FuU Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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