The image of a dog fetching a tennis ball is ubiquitous to the idea of dog ownership. It is one of the first things that most prospective dog owners imagine as they think of their life with their new companion. Some dogs fetch naturally, be it a stick, tennis ball, or game. Dogs like retrievers and spaniels bred for retrieval will often perform without prompting, training, or even encouragement. Retriever owners find they can’t throw anything away, for they find their dog brings it back. While some small dogs show the retrieval instinct, many were bred to hunt independently of humans for vermin, or bred to be a cute companion. Such dogs, while they may enjoy playing fetch with a tennis ball very much once they get going, may not show the initial instinct to fetch, even if they are happy to chase.
All dogs can learn to play fetch with a tennis ball. Even If your dog has seemed disinterested in the past, don’t worry. She can be motivated to enjoy a good game of tennis ball fetch.