When it comes to training your dog, there are a few key concepts that can be (and usually are) exploited in order to effectively teach your dog. We’re going to go over these key concepts and how they apply them to trying to teach dog to fetch.
The first concept is your dog’s mindset. Dog’s aim to please, so use this to your advantage! They do whatever they can to make you (and themselves, of course) happy, so it’s important to use positive reinforcements.
Treats, praise, attention. Anything you can do that will make them happy or let you know that you are happy will work. They’re man’s best friend for a reason.
How does this apply to trying to teach dog to fetch? Simple. When the dog successfully brings back the ball back to you, let him know how proud and happy you are. How to teach dog to roll over More enthusiasm is almost always better.
The second concept is knowing a dog’s learning style. You can’t simply force the dog to do something and then reward them for it. They have to perform the trick naturally and on their own if you expect them to learn anything at all from it.
In fetch, this isn’t quite as obvious a point, but in things like learning to sit, learning to roll over, learning to shake, etc, this is a very important idea. You have to somehow make your dog accidentally do the trick.
The third concept is that a dog will act predictably. How do you get your dog to run over to you? Calling him over isn’t the right idea. Often times, they will simply drop the ball and come get their attention. Even if this isn’t the case, it will teach them that they get rewarded when called, so they still won’t just bring the ball back until you call them over.
So, how do we do it, then? Run from them! Most any dog will chase after you until it catches up if you start running away. So once your dog has the ball and looks back at you, turn around and start jogging away. He’ll likely come running to you with ball in mouth.
Then… Praise and attention!! Remember a simple light clapping will keep their attention. Calling them to you is unnecessary and can often have the same effect as just calling them without running at all.