A Guide for Teaching Your Dog How to Fetch

how to teach dog fetch

You would be wrong thinking that pretty much any dog is great at playing the good old game of fetch. In fact, most k9s needs lots of training, patience and dedication before becoming excellent at retrieving toys that you throw while playing. Every pooch is great for running and chasing things but when it comes to bringing back thrown objects back to their owners, most of them fail at such a seemingly simple task.

Every pet owner needs plenty of patience and perseverance in order to train their pet to be great at playing a simple game of fetch. Some k9 breeds are easier to train and can be considered as being natural talents while others need lots of learning and dedication. Since every doggie, no matter how cute, has an inherent hunting instinct, they are eager to chase things around. This means that all you need to do is make them bring the object that they are going after, right back in front of you or into your hands.

This useful guide will teach you to train your pet to become great at retrieving fetch toys. Keep on reading to find out how your furry pal can become an expert at the fetching game in just four easy to follow steps!

First Step

Start with a simple pet-safe doggie tennis size ball toy. You can find a nice choice of great fetch toys by visiting these two links:

  1. Giant Tennis Ball, 9.4 Inch Larger Pets Toys Dogs Outdoor Sports Cricket Chew Thrower Trainning Supplies
  2. Bettie Fetch Toy Feisty Fuchsia (Pink) – Large

See how your dog reacts to it. If it happily chases while the ball is rolling around, from the moment you set it in motion, it means that your pet will be great at fetching. Once it grabs it, make sure to call it back in order to take the ball out his mouth. For the first couple of tries, it will be difficult to get the ball back if your pet is a bit stubborn.

tennis ball for dogs

Second Step

Your furry friend might not want to pick the ball up again after a couple of good runs. If this is the case, make sure to have some doggie snacks around in order to treat him after each successful ball retrieval. If you want to make it learn to drop the ball into the palm of your hand or in front of you, then make sure to hold out your hand and help your pet understand what you want from it.

When you’re outdoors and there are no treats when playing, be sure to use words and your voice tone to encourage and commend your pet after each successful run and retrieval. Dogs understand praise and critique so make sure that you let them know that you are pleased with their performance. It will boost their confidence and also motivate them to continue playing longer without losing attention.

Third Step

Teaching them to pick up the ball might not be necessary for most doggies yet if it needs to be done - first grab their attention and make them observe the whole process. You can use snacks to motivate your pet to approach the ball and pick it up. Once it grabs it, move away and call it to bring the toy back to you. As soon as it approaches start working towards making it understand to drop it in front of you or into your hand. Use words of encouragement and doggie treats until your pooch gets a hang of it. Once you both successfully repeat the routine for a couple of times you can consider the hard part being over.

Fourth Step

This one brings both you and your furry pal the most happiness. It includes shouting the magical word “Fetch” and throwing the toy so that your k9 can joyfully run after it. The word prepares it for the run and also serves as a direction as to what is expected from it. If you see that your pet doesn’t give chase every time ensure that you are encouraging it to play. Encourage and pat it on the back each and every time it successfully retrieves the toy. By doing so you keep motivation at a high level which drives the dog to go for runs as often as it likes. If you experience any sort of issues, bring snacks with you to reward it each time after he successfully returns with the fetch toy. Once it gets a hang of it, you will need no motivation resources to make it run for hours happily playing and chasing.


If you do not experience success at first do not be discouraged and absolutely don’t give up! Teaching and training dogs require dedication and perseverance so if you do not experience success from the first couple of tries – keep repeating the whole process. Once you achieve and accomplish your goal you will enjoy every second of the game of fetch with your dog. That is a reward in itself well worth of achieving!

Once your pet learns to play the marvelous game of fetch you can buy an automatic ball launcher which it can use the play all by itself. Click here to learn more and be sure to check our in-depth reviews of these awesome toys to find out how they can keep your doggie happy when you do not have the time to play or even when you are away from home.