How to play fetch

Sunday, October 21, 2007

How to play fetch

So it turns out not even golden retrievers automatically know how to fetch. They need to be taught how to play. Thinking about it now that seems obvious but before I had a dog capable of fetching I did not think about this. I've been reading some good books about training, and one of the best ones 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge , and Bond with Your Dog has a great suggestion for fetch. It is so simple it's almost insulting.

First take a standard tennis ball and cut a slit into it. I used an exacto knife to split open the ball about 2 inches.

Next squeeze the ball and slip a few treats inside. Using something smelly is best (Natural Balance Dog food rolls seem to work well).

Now toss the ball a few feet away. Finn noticed that it smelled right away and after pushing the ball around for a few seconds grasped it in his mouth and brought it back to me.

Get the dog to drop the ball, either he'll do it natuarally, he knows drop, or you can bribe him. Once he does squeeze the ball to release a treat.

Finn picked up on this trick very easily, as he normally does when we take the time to teach him correctly. The hardest part of training is being consistent. Luckily Finn is willing to put up with human mistakes, and although he may be confused or frustrated, he sticks with it.

Also because I have the picture and it is a Sunday, here is Finn supporting his favorite team. Who Dat! Geaux Saints!

1 Comment:

Amber-Mae said...

Oh my, why have my mommy not thought of that before? Put some treats in the tennis ball. I think I will go crazee! But I wouldn't want her cutting up my tennis ball. I love my tennis ball, poor ball...

Love licks,
Solid Gold Dancer