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Fetch - How to get dog to drop the ball

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My crazy dog doesn't seem to understand to play fetch she needs to DROP the ball.


Has anyone got any suggestions on how I can get my girl to drop the ball so I can throw it again? I have tried using another ball but she wants try and pick both up in her mouth. I have tried the treats but I don't want to be constantly giving her a treat. Lilly's version of Fetch (and keep) is her favourite thing but she always seems to want me to pull it out of her mouth like tug of war.


Any suggestions?

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First, for Lilly, never ever pull it out of her mouth. It sounds like it is very high value to her to play tug of war with her ball and you. You are continuing to 'train' her to keep doing that if you 'play by her rules'. When my dog doesn't want to drop it (although he is usually good about it), I just stop the game (walk away, put a leash on him and bring him back inside, or ....). My attitude is - So sorry, game is done. I don't get mad or frustrated. I just treat it very matter of fact.


I wouldn't worry about giving treats if that is what will get her to drop it. You can eventually fade them out.


Realize that you will need patience to deal with this, but it doesn't have to be a chore. Whenever she will drop the ball, make it like the best party ever for Lilly. Bring out another tug toy and play with her, run around with her and act like a demented chicken, give her a jackpot of treats - make her really excited for dropping the ball. And keep doing that - for months maybe. It took me about 6 months to get my pup to reliably drop the ball to play fetch.


Short answers, but it can be hard to give exact recommendations without really seeing what is going on.



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I would take a different approach. Instead of ending the game for something the dog doesn't understand yet, which may make the dog stop bringing the ball to you and just run around with it, ruining the game of fetch, teach the dog a command to drop or give (or both) away from the game and the coveted ball. Food is the easiest to use to teach these commands, and no you don't have to use food all the time, just in the time it takes for your dog to understand the command/action, then you fade it. When training these commands, go inside and don't use a ball, but another less adored toy. There are several easy ways to teach these commands; I would suggest doing a quick search of these boards and/or the 'net. Personally I use a clicker and food.

Good luck.

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