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Dog Tricks: Four Steps For Teaching Your Dog To Fetch

Armed with just a few tennis balls, you can train your dog to fetch - an activity that’s fun for a day in the park or in your backyard. Here are some steps to teach your dog:

1) Get your dog interested

Get your dog interested in the ball by teasing him a little bit with it. Wave it back-and-forth in front of him. Once you have your dog’s attention, toss one of the balls somewhere he can visibly see it.

2) Coming back
Hopefully your pooch ran after the ball and didn’t chew it into a million pieces. If not, kneel and call your dog’s name to have him come back to you. When he gets to you, tell him to drop the ball. If he does, it seems like he’s pretty good at fetching already. If not, read the next step.

3) Ball No. 2

If your dog is standing there with the ball in his mouth staring at you and refusing to drop it, it’s time for ball number two. Take the second ball out of your pocket and look like you are having a lot of fun with it on your own. This is important to get your dog excited about the second ball. He’ll think to himself, “Look at this crazy dude having that much fun, maybe I can too.”

Once he is just as interested in that ball, and has dropped the first one, throw the second one you were playing with.

4) Repeat

You should plan on repeating this process until the dog finally starts to understand the concept of why he should drop the ball. An important thing to remember when you do fetch is to keep an upbeat attitude and stop before the dog begins to get bored. If you do, he’ll be excited to fetch next time as well.