Teach a Dog to Fetch and Work in the Field
Teaching a dog to fetch is a time consuming but rewarding process. It is best to start teaching a dog to fetch from quite young, basically, as soon as you have got to know the dog and you’re a comfortable with each other. This article is a guide to how to teach a dog to fetch in the field.
How to Train a Dog To Fetch
- Before you begin teaching a dog to fetch things in the field, you need to make sure he is confident with the basics of fetching and giving back to you. To train a dog to fetch, start with a tennis ball and a small area.
- At first throw or roll it a short distance and have something he is interested in in your hand such as a treat. Make the dog give you the ball back and reward him when he does.
- Repeat this process, throwing the ball a bit further each time. Progress on to bigger areas to allow greater distances to be covered. Start to reduce the rewards to every other time he retrieves the ball and then every 4th time etc.
- Teaching a dog to fetch a bird is basically the same in principle. Once you have got the dog used to fetching a ball. Move on to a dummy bird and then after a while, add feathers to it so he is used to the sensation in his mouth.
- It is important to strike a balance between being a firm trainer and keeping the dog happy and interested. Start off with short sessions and gradually make them longer.
- To move the training on, drag a scented dummy around a grassy area and have your dog follow the scent to find the dummy. As with before, start with small tests and then gradually make the scent trails longer, rewarding him when he successfully finds the dummy. When teaching a dog to fetch, giving it too many treats can be counter productive and make the animal lazy.
- When you teach a dog to fetch, make sure you keep the training fun. If it isn’t, both you and the dog will lose interest and it will become a chore.