Fun isn't just for youngsters! If you have the pleasure of adopting a mature canine, you'll soon learn that old dogs can certainly learn new tricks. And those tricks don't have to be all business; some of the best bonding time you can have with your pooch is during play!
Everyone's go-to game with their dog is "fetch". But what may surprise you is that not all puppers are born knowing the concept of this simple pastime. Some need to be taught the rules, and that's okay too!
Fetch is the classic game between owner and dog where the human throws an object (usually a ball, toy or stick) and the pooch runs, retrieves the item and brings it back. The beauty of fetch is that it tires your dog out physically and mentally while you don't even have to break a sweat. When dogs get the hang of it, it's an activity that they love! Some pups even become fetch-obsessed, trying to keep the game going long after you're over it.
Thankfully, fetch isn't a difficult game to teach your four-legged friend. Generally, after a few sessions of fun, most dogs pick up the idea just fine. The sooner that you help the old boy or gal learn to fetch, the sooner you both can be having fun together!
If you want good results, make sure you come to the table with all the right things. Good things to have when training an older dog to fetch are:
If, at any point during the game, your dog simply stops interacting, don't punish him! Losing interest just means that session is over. There is no need to associate negative things with an activity that is supposed to be fun. It's also important that you make sure your dog is able to run before participating in fetch. Some older dogs are just not mobile enough to retrieve.
Below are some of the most popular methods to teach your fur buddy to fetch. See which one sounds the most doable for you, or try out a few ways and see what one suits your canine companion best.
She’s a little shy of photos but she has the “oh honey” southern lady sympathetic paw placement down to a T! She’s genuinely sweet but we’re beginning to question her (and my own) intelligence when it comes to the fetching task. She loves the soccer ball and goes after it- she will come back to me when I call her- but as of yet, not with the ball.
Hello Addy, First, know that the majority of dogs don't naturally bring the ball back on their own - so that is normal at this point. I suggest working on the grabbing and holding portions of fetch. Check out the article I have linked below and focus on "Part 2. Teaching Take It" and "Part 3. Teaching Come" . Those parts of the article will discuss how to train your dog to pick something up with their mouth "Take It" and to come to you WHILE holding the object still - "Come". https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-to-fetch/ Also, check out the videos linked below for some visuals of how to get a dog interested in biting and holding a toy initially before beginning a formal fetch. It typically involves games of tug of war and lots of silly movement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtpLvumSTzI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-uUQE32FuU Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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