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I am new so if there is a thread already on teaching fetch, could someone reference it for me? Otherwise, does anyone have good suggestions to teach a 10 week old puppy fetch or is this too young? My little guy gets plenty of exercise but I would love to burn the extra energy tossing a ball or disc around. What does everyone think?

 

See picture below of little Jax.

 

Matt

post-9395-1234984999_thumb.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

We did alot of clicker training with Ed, and still do 2yrs later. He always loved toys anyway so this made fetch easier! We used to throw his toy a short distance and say the word 'fetch'. When he went to it we would click and praise. He soon caught on that it was a good thing to go to his toy. When he picked it up we encouraged him to 'come' and drop. He used to drop it far away from us initially but we'd praise him for bringing it closer. It wasn't long before he was bringing it closer and closer as he knew that the sooner he dropped it, the sooner we'd throw it for him. Nowadays though he piles all his toys on you until you throw them!! Get yourself a clicker..it makes training easier and much more fun!

xx

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  • 3 weeks later...

My dogs never had trouble chasing a ball/disc so I've never said fetch. I do encourage them to return to me by calling them back and squatting onto their level. Once returned, I let my dog keep the toy while I pet her and say good girl. Then I hold the toy and say 'drop it'. I think if you just take the ball away, the dog will think "hey, that's mine!" and then have reservations coming to you after fetching.

My hearing dog has no problem with returning and releasing as she wants to turn around and go after the disc again. But my deaf dog likes to hold onto the ball/disc and play tug with it. I've hurt my hand many times trying to take the disc from her. What I've found helpful is to keep a second ball/disc handy. When she returns, I pet her and give her a thumbs up and then show her the new ball/disc. In the beginning it took some time to convince to drop the toy in her mouth but she's caught on and now after her pet down drops the ball.

I will say that catching the disc was a little harder than the ball but both Chevy & Chase love it now. I started with a soft disc (I think it was a hurl-a-squirrel) and slowly graduated to a fribee and distance. It's a favorite past time of theirs.

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I say get the {name of object} That way they learn the diff between balls, frisbees, cats etc. Jin is 14 wks and likes to fetch. He also knows "drop it" (to the ground) and "Let it go" (in my hand) along with "leave it". He still has a few probsw with the return coming within a few feet then wandering off. I expect that shall work itself out over the next few days.

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Very cute puppy!

 

I don't think that 10 weeks is too young, but I would stress the importance of keeping the fetch training sessions very brief and exciting. Only take out the toy you plan to teach fetch with when you are going to be interacting with the puppy, don't leave it lying around. Build up the excitement by running around and acting as if you have something great. Then, toss the toy a very short distance. If your puppy has any prey drive he should chase after the ball. Is he picking it up most of the time already? If so, just encourage him to bring it back to you (a good way to do this is by running in the opposite direction and making a big fuss...not too far though, as he is young). If he really is enjoying the chase part, work on your "out" command. You can train this quiet easily by simply putting a piece of food right near the puppy's nose when he has the toy in his mouth, when he drops it, signal "yes" or click and give him the treat. After he is dropping the toy successfully whenever you offer him the food, cue "out" and then put the food in front of his nose like you usually do. Eventually, he will understand the cue and be quite willing to drop his toy without having a treat right in front of his nose. If he is super toy motivated, just showing him another toy may induce him to drop the one he currently has. With a successful out (or if he will drop a toy for the one you have), you can play with two toys (either identical or of close value). As he brings back the first one, offer the new one and say "out", when he drops it, throw the second toy. Throwing the second toy acts a reward for bringing back the first one. Therefore, you don't have to stop the game and give him a treat when he retrieves each time. Chasing builds the retrieving!

 

I will stress again the importance of keeping the game short and exciting! I would only throw the toy a few times at his age. If he is losing interest in the game, you need to make the sessions even shorter. Playing tug games is also an awesome way to build drive. It builds focus on you and really gets the dog excited and ready to work. Good luck and keep us updated!

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we had a brake through last night. We played fetch with a ball in the hallway! He loved it! Now if I could only get him to do it outside without being distracted at everything else!

 

I also wouldn't ask him to fetch outside until he is being extremely successful inside with multiple throws and very reliable focus. He is still very young, just a baby dog. I would wait a couple months to move the game outside and when you do, just remember to start from the beginning again. Outside is a whole new ballgame!

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When I got my puppy at 4 months, the first thing we did was fetch. She might have been taught that by whoever had her before, or she just does it naturally. Later on, as she got more comfortable with me, she lost interest in fetching, so I started clicking and treating her for fetching. Of course...she also seemed to take this as, 'bring me a toy and I'll give you food,' and she often tries to give me toys when I'm eating. :D I KNOW she's not asking to play fetch, she just wants a treat for her giving me a toy! :D

 

She SOMEtimes will play fetch willingly, but most other times, she seems very bored by it. For example, I'll throw her toy and she'll...walk...over to it, and walk...back. Have I totally bored her of the game of fetch? Is there something I can do to make it more exciting? :rolleyes: Or do some dogs just not have much interest period? She mostly seems uninterested in fetch when we're outside, whether in the backyard or the park. I'm hoping she's just easily distracted, being a puppy (~8 months)...

 

I've also noticed that when I play fetch with her and the other dogs, she'll run and cut off the other dogs, then go and get the ball/stick/toy. Is that her herding behavior coming out? :D

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