Fetching with Your Furry Friend

For some dogs fetching comes naturally. Labrador retrievers, for example, seem to understand the concept of fetching and retrieving by the time they’re barely big enough to carry a tennis ball in their mouths. But for some dogs, the concept of fetching is a learned skill – one that requires some teaching and some patience but with fun results.

Our Charleston area dog parks offer some great space in which to practice fetching with your favorite four-legged friend. This site on dog training offers tips on how to teach your dog to fetch as well as a video demonstration. For example, they suggest starting with a short distance (especially for puppies because they tend to run out of steam fast). Also, fetching isn’t always the issue; the real trick may be getting your dog to bring the ball or Frisbee back to you and also to release it.

Offer up words of praise and/or treats to encourage your dog to release the item. You’ll also want to establish a specific word such as “drop it” that your dog will come to recognize as the cue to release the item. You also can fade out the treats but continue the positive reinforcement. After about a week of practice, your pup should really be getting the hang of fetching and enjoying the game.

Is your dog a master fetcher? What teaching tips do you have? And which Charleston dog park is your dog’s favorite fetching spot?

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