Fetch may be most valuable skill: "Get it"

Teach your dog to bring things to you, chase you with things in their mouth, and happily give the toy up to play again or to play another game. Being able to make the choice to bring a treasure back to you is one of the strongest partnership and relationship skills a puppy can be taught. Some dogs come with it naturally, many do not and it has to be built.

If your dog does not have a natural desire to play with toys, carry them or bring them too you, there are additional games to play to teach your dog how to fetch, and you can also play these games with a toy that holds food in it (for example and old sock with treats inside and a knot to hold them in place)

Once you have a fetch - watch the videos below for 22 versions of the game that will help you build a solid foundation for future training.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

If your dog does not have a natural fetching behavior, it can be taught, but you might need help to do it.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

- Back-chaining

-play with two of the same toys in a hallway, toss one a few feet one way and as soon as they pick it up, toss the other the other way, retrieve the first and keep repeating until your dog starts to pick up the toy and turn toward you in anticipation of the next toss.

-run away as soon as they pick something up

-use toys on a rope to reel them in

-trade toy for cookie.

-let them carry a toy on a short walk

-play tug, let them win and then back up to see if they will bring you the toy to restart the game

The games below get into more “searching” + fetch to teach persistence and focus.