Practically speaking, fetching is a good game to start with when you are training your dog because of two reasons. One, it is a perfect exercise for your pet, and two, any kind of dog loves to play ‘fetch the ball (or something),’ which helps trainers to succeed in their efforts quickly.
Nonetheless, just as human psychology differs from person to person, your dog may have a different mindset than another one. Some dogs naturally enjoy the game of fetching while some others find no point in chasing an object unnecessarily. In such conditions, it gets extremely difficult to tame an animal, but today, the top dog website in India is here to give you some super simple and effective tips on how you can make your dog fetch perfectly.
Firstly, the reward. Nothing comes for free. For your dog to obey you and fetch a newspaper perfectly, you will need to give it something in return – like a treat. The tools normally required to tame dogs to fetch objects ranges from yummy treats, a marker word, and plenty of your dog’s favorite toys – all of which are easily available in any pet shop or dog website in India.
The art of teaching ‘fetching’ to your dog is simply called shaping, which means to let your dog figure out how to perform a task with minimal help from you. For this, you can follow these tips recommended by the top dog websites in India.
1. Choosing the Object
This step doesn’t require too much effort, but you would prefer not to choose a toy your dog loves as a fetch object. Irrespective of the temperament of your dog, it is more likely to start playing with it and ignore your commands. For a start, you can choose any simple and small object that it can hold in its mouth easily – like plush toys or balls, which are available in almost all pet shops and dog websites in India. Once the dog starts putting the item in its mouth, it can be made to do so with any object. For the first few weeks or days, use the same object or switch between two objects.
2. Mark the First Interaction
Put the toy on the ground and wait for your dog to eye it first as a first interaction. Your lookout will be for your dog to look at the plush toy or fetch the object. Then, click or (use a marker word) the interaction between your dog and the toy. By clicking, we mean to treat your dog as it makes the first interaction successful – treat it with something your dog loves – like a yummy cookie, chewstick, or so on.
3. Continue till your Dog Touches the Toy for a Reward
Continue to do the above step in intervals of some time until your dog starts to reliably look at the toy in order to get the reward. At this point, most dogs will start playing with it or nose it – mark or click this moment (reward your dog). Once it has understood the pattern that it will get rewarded as it eyes or touches the toy, move on to the next step. If your dog doesn’t naturally nose the toy, place it near his face to make your dog touch or nose it.
4. Mark the Next Step
Next, hold the reward in your hand and show it when it noses the toy but doesn’t reward the dog until it picks the toy in its mouth. In most cases, the dog will start to get frustrated and will pick up the toy with its mouth when you delay in rewarding it. When it picks it up, immediately mark the moment and reward it. Continue this for some time to habituate your pet.
Put the toy back on the ground and tell your dog to pick it up and place it on your hand. Reward it as soon as the dog obeys your command.
6. Farther back
The next step is to make your dog understand that it has to fetch the object and place it on your hands no matter how far you are. So, step back and repeat the above step again and watch how your dog picks up the toy and places it on your hand. Keep moving one step back each time after your dog has successfully passed the previous distance. Keep rewarding it when it correctly fetches the object and places it on your hand.
7. Replace the Toy and Distance
Keep on increasing the distance gradually (not too far in a single day) and replace the initial fetch object with something else after a few days. Follow the same steps and reward it once it is bringing the toy back from large distances.
Once it has successfully passed all these steps, stand in front of the dog, show the toy to the dog, and throw it farther away. Watch how it fetches and brings it back. Reward it. Practice every day but take some time intervals in between and normally play with your dog.
If your dog starts to lose interest in the sessions, you can try changing the toy or even bring in a more tasty reward into the picture. You can easily get dog rewards or treats in any pet shop or dog website in India.
At this step, it is important to know that you may hire a trainer for your dog to teach it fetching. However, depending on your dog’s temperament, it may only obey your trainer’s command and not fetch anything you say later on. But, many dogs pick up the pattern and are ready to fetch toys irrespective of the person who is giving the command. You can contact trainers online or from the top dog websites in India, but remember to practice with your dog the same steps after your trainer’s session is over. This way, your dog will understand that it is supposed to fetch the toy and bring it to anyone rewarding it.