How to train a dog to fetch?
June 29, 2005 4:20 PM Subscribe
Dog behavior question: My friend recently adopted a 3-year-old dog from a shelter. It doesn't seem to "get" the whole idea of fetch and retrieve.
posted by Brian James to Pets & Animals (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If I throw a tennis ball, the dog will usually go to retrieve it, but then drops the ball halfway back to me, and returns without it. How can I train the dog to bring the ball and drop it in my hand?
I have tried throwing the ball repeatedly (and retrieving it myself), hoping that on a fluke the dog would drop it in my hand, so I could then offer positive reinforcement--this didn't work because the dog never caught on to what I wanted. (She gives the ball up without a fuss when I get it myself)
On another occasion, I tried ignoring the dog when it returned to me without the ball, but the dog didn't get the message (at least not right away). The dog likes to play with the ball a little bit at a time, so if I suddenly stop playing the game with her, she doesn't seem to miss it. This dog is a Chihuahua mix.
What do the dog behaviorists recommend?