Poodles are very intelligent dogs that enjoy both mental and physical stimulation through training and exercise. Training your Poodle to fetch is a great way to do both--and give her a skill that will come in handy for life.
Poodles can be high strung, so being able to take her out in the yard and wear her out with a half hour of vigorous fetch definitely has its advantages! Plus, many Poodles end up loving fetch so much that it can become a reward used to train other behaviors later.
It will not be difficult to teach your Poodle this simple trick. Our guide will cover three different methods for training this trick. In most cases, your Poodle can learn this fun game in a few short sessions. However, play often and keep the energy high and exciting if you want fetch to become a favorite game.
What works to motivate your dog to train? Does she like little bits of turkey or will she work for some kibble? It is important to find some food rewards that keep her engaged in the learning process. Food motivators are great because they can be repeated often without disrupting the flow of training.
Even though it is easiest to start training new behavior with food, you can taper off food rewards once a behavior is fully learned. This is particularly true for fetch, which is so fun that it will become a reward on its own after some practice.
Get the Right Ball
If your Poodle is not interested in the tennis ball, try a different kind of ball. Or, rub a little of his favorite food on the ball and try again. Sometimes you can start to teach fetch with a plush toy, switching to a tennis ball once the game is fully learned. Poodles can be a little picky about what they put in their mouths--they have dignity after all!
Focus on Success
You do not have to use any punishment to teach fetch to your Poodle. In fact, punishment during training sessions is very likely to cause your Poodle to disengage from your attempts to teach her, given their sensitive personalities. Instead, consider it your job to make sure your Poodle is getting lots of opportunities for success and that you move your expectations only as fast as she is ready to oblige. You can just ignore failures.
One of the methods we will show you in this guide uses clickers, the preferred training tool of choice for most professional trainers. They are very inexpensive and can be purchased at your local pet store for just a few dollars.They make a clicking sound when you squeeze the button. This sound acts to “mark” the behavior that you like and is always followed by a reward. You can also just use a special sound such as a whistle or word that you only use for training--always followed by a food reward.