Teaching Your Dog to Fetch a Ball

Teaching Your Dog to Fetch a Ball

Last update: 19 June, 2018

Teaching your dog how to fetch is one of the most common games he enjoys. Although it might seem a little basic, it does requires patience and skill to train him. In this article, you can go over some tips that can guarantee success in learning this game.

Is it Easy to Teach Your Dog to Fetch a Ball?

Answering this question is probably quite hard because it all depends on a number of factors. Firstly, your dog’s age, since they’ll learn quicker if they’re still a puppy. Secondly, how you teach him, and thirdly, how much patience and persistence you have when playing with him.

A dog trying to fetching a ball

There are several games you and your pet can enjoy,nevertheless, playing with a ball is the simplest. It’s really fun for the both of you, and it strengthens the bond between the two of you. It’s also a great form of exercise, uses up energy, and fun.

Teaching Your Dog to Fetch a Ball Step by Step

Here are some information about teaching your dog to fetch a ball. With practice, you’ll be able to throw it, your dog will chase after it, bring it back, and wait for you to throw it again. Don’t forget to reward him with a treat, by petting him, or giving him some words of encouragement in his ear after doing a job well done.

1. Pick Out a Toy

The most common toy is a ball that’s big enough to fit in your pet’s mouth. It should also be durable and light in order for it not to break. However, many dogs seem to prefer playing with dolls, sticks, or a frisbee. Whichever you choose, the steps to follow will still be the same. If your pet already as a favorite toy, then use that one instead! It’ll be much easier to teach them to fetch it.

2. Choose a Treat

Use a treat, some dog biscuits, or a piece of meat in your hand. If you don’t want your dog to get used to this type of treat, then think of another way to reward him. You can pet him or give him some words of encouragement like “good boy”, “well done”, etc. However, keep in mind that after choosing a way to reward him, you need to keep on doing it. So, take your time thinking about it.

3. Go to a Quiet Place

Teaching your dog to fetch a ball can be impossible if there’s another dog around or other different kinds of distractions. Therefore, if you go to a park full of other animals or children, your dog will get distracted or nervous and will never learn what you want him to do. If you have a garden or a patio at home, start there so he’ll be completely capable of paying attention.

4. Give Verbal Commands

Before anything else takes place, your dog needs to remain still before the fun begins. Then, he can go fetch the ball. Therefore, you must teach him to sit or stay just by using simple words, such as “sit” and “stay”.

A dog lying down after fetching a ball

Be sure to show your dog the ball before throwing it in order for him to know what will take place. After throwing it, if they stay there watching it, and don’t understand, tell them to “fetch” and point to the ball’s location.

5. Have Your Dog Bring Back The Ball

Once they have the ball in their mouth, you need to tell them to come back. Again, you need to use simple words. You could say “bring it to me”, “here”, “come”, etc. As soon as they get back, remove the toy carefully and give them their reward. If they don’t want to let go of the ball, you’ll need to give them an instruction: “drop it” or “let it go”, for example.

Once finishing, start the process over again. Try doing it several times when you take them out, and most of all, enjoy the time you spend with your pet. They’ll eventually understand your instructions better and soon he’ll be asking you to play.  They’ll start bringing the ball to you or pushing it towards you with their nose.

Source of Main Image: Cristián Berríos

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.