Many people who own Golden Retrievers believe that fetching and retrieving are often assumed to be part of the package with these family-friendly, happy-go-lucky dogs. Although Goldens are inherently bred to retrieve, that doesn’t mean they will automatically know what to do without some consistent, positive training.
The Golden Retriever is a people-pleaser, and with the right attitude and lots of patience, you can quickly teach your pup to fetch. Devoted and loyal, your Golden will be more than happy to accompany you on any adventure that involves running and playing. Be prepared for a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of false starts --- your dog may do more chasing than fetching at first. Stay patient and upbeat, and your Golden will be fetching for you soon.
Aside from honing your Golden Retriever’s inherent talents, teaching your dog to fetch has other beneficial rewards. Goldens require large amounts of exercise, and because they are an intelligent breed, they often need engagement and stimulation so they don’t become bored and destructive. Fetching is an activity that will keep your Golden on her toes and in good shape.
This training process and its result will also strengthen the bond between you and your dog. With the Golden Retriever’s energy, exuberance, and retrieving instincts, fetching will develop naturally as long as you guide her properly with positivity and consistency.
Have a tennis ball or favorite toy on hand for your dog to learn to fetch. If you clicker train, this is an excellent type of training in which to use it. Be sure to have some treats in your pocket with which to reward your dog when she does what you ask of her. When starting this training process, try to choose a location with minimal distractions so that your Golden’s focus is entirely on you and your commands.
Stay upbeat and positive at all times. If you become frustrated or discouraged, take a break for awhile then try again later on in the day. Training sessions may initially start out short but will gradually increase as your Golden learns to fetch and learns much fun she can have while doing so. Be patient, and your Golden will be bringing back that tennis ball to you like a pro.