We were in Johns Creek last weekend at a new Home Dog Training client helping her with her 9 month old American Bulldog named George. American Bulldogs are all muscle and at 9 months, George was just starting too feel his size. Issues such as jumping, not listening, trying to run out the door, stealing food from the table, and nipping for attention were all on our client’s list. We worked through all of those issues by having our client become consistent, calm and clear in a way that his dog could understand. This allowed George to focus on our client when a command or direction was given to him. George turned out to be a very good boy and our client was extremely happy with what we had taught him and how much better George had become. As we were finishing up, our client had one more question. He had been trying to teach George how to fetch. For whatever reason, George didn’t want any part of it. He thought that all dogs knew how to fetch. Why not George?
I started off by telling our client that all dogs don’t intuitively understand “fetch”. Based on things such as; distractions, reward systems, and environments, some dogs might warm up the “idea” faster than others. The bottom line is that you still have to teach your dog what you want him to do in a repetitive and consistent manner. This is their natural learning process and the only way that they learn any task.
When it comes to “Fetch”, these are the instructions I always provide our clients:
- Start out by just rolling a tennis ball towards your dog so that he will become fixated on it as an interesting distraction. Think about soaking the tennis ball in chicken broth (letting it dry before you use it) to further enhance the distraction. Do this over and over again until your dog always goes for the ball you are rolling towards him.
- Start change the direction you are the rolling ball. Repeat this slowly until you are now rolling the ball away from your dog and he is still focused on it and going for it.
- You are now ready to have your dog bring the ball back. Put a long lead (10′ – 20′) on your dog. Once you have rolled the ball and your dog has gotten it, give your dog a “come command”. If he doesn’t come to you, give the lead a slight tug to encourage him to come back to you. Repeat this until your dog will catch the ball and then return to you.
- Let’s ramp it up by bouncing and then throwing the ball. This adds more excitement to the activity. Repeat this until your dog is catching the ball and bringing it back every time.
- Remove the lead from your dog and continue the process. If your dog doesn’t being the ball back, attach the lead and continue with that until he repeatedly brings the ball back.
You have now taught your dog how to fetch. Please be aware that not all dogs like to play fetch. To be completely successful, your dog will want to play fetch and see it as a fun time of bonding with you. If your dog doesn’t like to play fetch, find another activity to enjoy together.
We hope you will give us a call at (770) 718-7704 if you are in need of any dog training help. We have a lot of good dog training stories at Best Dog Trainers Johns Creek Georgia. Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Johns Creek Georgia.