Teaching your Dog to Fetch


Playing fetch is a great way to have fun with your dog and exercise him/her at the same time.

Some dogs play fetch naturally, but few dogs intrinsically understand the concept of retrieving.

Some dogs will chase after the toy but then won’t bring it back, while others simply look at you with a confused expression, wondering why you repeatedly throw the toy away!

Choosing the Right Toy:
Dogs can be very particular about the toys they’ll play fetch with. Some prefer a tennis ball, others are happiest with a plain old stick. Experiment with different toys and see which ones excite your dog the most. Here are a few popular choices to try:

  • Tennis ball
  • Plastic or rubber stick
  • Regular stick
  • Squeaky toy
  • Frisbee

If your dog doesn’t like to put toys in his/her mouth, try soaking a plush toy or a tennis ball in chicken stock or stuffing an old sock with treats. This will entice your dog to taste the toy.

The Reluctant Retriever:
For dogs who really don’t grasp the concept of chasing after toys at all, you need to start with the basics. If your dog likes to play tug-of-war, start by playing a short game of tug with a soft toy that your puppy likes to tug on. Then take the toy from his/her mouth, and toss it just a few inches away. If your dog runs to the toy, immediately snatch it up and start another fun game of tug. If he/she just stands there and looks at the toy you’ve thrown, reach out and wiggle it around on the floor again until he/she finds it irresistible.

As soon as your dog gets it, toss it another few inches away. Continue doing this until your dog chases after the toy. When he/she does, you can reward your dog with another quick tug game.

Soon they’ll reliably chase the toy when you toss it and you can start throwing it greater distances. When he/she gets the idea that bringing the toy back to you leads to a tugging battle, your dog will be eager to run and fetch the toy.

Once you start throwing it a few feet, it’s helpful to turn and run away as your dog comes towards you with the toy. This will encourage him/her to run faster and chase you. When he/she catches up to you, play tug with the toy.

Eventually, you won’t have to play tug every single time your dog fetches the toy, but be sure to do so intermittently to keep him/her eager to play.


To follow up or make an appointment or find out more information about Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.

I look forward to meeting you and working with your dogs.

Happy dog training.

Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT
Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Dorset and Hampshire border.
Dog Training, Dog Day Care, Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking

Ringwood Dogs Home Dog Boarding with PetStay Dorset & Bournemouth  IMDT - Institute of Modern Dog Trainers  Ringwood Dogs - adheres to the IMDT UK Dog Behaviour & Training Charter.  Kids Around Dogs (KAD) Approved Trainer  Member of Dog Care Professionals UK - a Facebook Group for licensed and qualified dog care professionals   ISAP - International Society for Animal Professionals Accredited Reactivity Specialist Trainer from the Dog Training College  Ringwood Dogs - Three Legged Cross on the Dorset, Hampshire and New Forest border supports Dorset Dogs who champion positive management for people with dogs in town, coast and countryside and promotes responsible dog ownership   Unleash the Power of Play. Discover what a KONG can do.  Buy your KONG from Ringwood Dogs - Three Legged Cross on the Dorset, Hampshire and New Forest border.   Wholesome Goodness Natural Treats from the Ringwood Dogs Online Dog Shop   Ringwood Dogs listed on ThreeBesteRated for Top 3 Best Dog Trainers in New ForestRingwood Dogs listed on ThreeBesteRated for Top 3 Best Dog Trainers in New Forest  

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