Why do people come up with the idea of teaching their four-legged friend to fetch? Are these lazy people who don’t feel like getting their newspaper themselves? Or do these owners just find it funny when the dog can fetch things? Not at all. Depending on their nature and breed, dogs have a more or less pronounced hunting and prey drive.
And especially mentally very active fur children are challenged and thus also encouraged by practicing retrieving with them. This training is good for the body and mind because your darling gets enough exercise at the same time. But before that works, it takes a little time and patience. I will explain in detail in the next article how you can make your dog happy with this exercise.
What Accessories Do I Need for This?
A towline would be great. And of course, something to be retrieved. A snack dummy and everything that Apportel can serve is suitable for this. With the snack dummy, it should be the case that the treat inside cannot be removed by your dog. This should show your dog that without you, as an accomplice, there is no threat.
And a quiet spot where you can practice is great. If there are already umpteen dogs jumping around there, you will hardly be able to practice in peace. In addition, every other retrieval item should simply arouse curiosity. If your dog likes balls, then take a ball, but sticks and frisbees, etc. will also work. And of course, a reward should not be missing to always crown success with a treat, for example.
I’m Afraid My Dog Will Run Away as Soon as the Leash is Off
That’s why you practice with the tow line first. This gives your fur child a certain amount of freedom, which you can still limit, which it also needs so that you can practice properly and yet does not let it go free so that it can possibly run off with its prey at the beginning of your exercises.
How is the Retrieval Training Carried Out?
You put the leash on your dog and make him curious about the retrieval item. If your furry friend notices how excited you are about it, it will be contagious. The basic commands, such as “Off!” must be in place beforehand, without this requirement it will hardly work.
When your dog puts the dumbbell in its mouth, it gives the command “Retrieve!” Repeats this over and over until it puts the object in its mouth just as you give the command. And please don’t forget the reward in the form of a big cuddle. So this is where your darling gets the credit for holding the item.
If your dog shares with you, he lets it go back into your hand. Here, too, praise must be given. The whole thing repeated again, with a little distance to the dumbbell. If your dog brings you the object over the first meter, please give plenty of praise and a treat. The distance to the dumbbell can now be increased. With “Off!” the object is released at the latest. Your dog will understand that he’s not exactly losing prey, he’s bringing you something. After all, you are the boss of the two of you.
If you notice that your dog is slowly losing interest in this game, stop training for the day. In the end, however, there must always be a successful result so that your four-legged friend keeps retrieving as a positive game in the back of his mind.
If these sub-exercises sit as a whole, you can omit the two lines.