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Oh So Fetching Part 2

Okay so now you have some foundation fetching skills and it is time for some rules to help you succeed in playing with your dog. These rules are life savers.

  1. When the toy is tucked in tight against my body, it is MINE. If the dog attempts to grab it use your arms to cover it. Do not acknowledge your dog AT ALL. Cover and ignore, stand still. Jumping into me and grabbing is NEVER ok.

  2. When the toy is held out and animated, "GET IT" In fact, on top of how I present it, it also comes with those words as a verbal cue so the dog knows they are good to go!

  3. I will NEVER toss a toy directly after poor choices of behaviour. These include (but are not limited to): Barking/vocalizing, Overarousal, Pulling on the leash to get there faster, Jumping up, Nipping, Demanding behaviours, or any other behaviour you don't want to reinforce. Instead, I will choose a time that my dog is calm, performing a behaviour I like (sit, down, loose leash walking etc) and reward that with play and fun.

  4. I will only play fetch in a safe space, where there are no competing interests and the footing is safe. It's not always about BIG LONG RUNS at full speed to chase down the toy. Instead, play a game of tug, a short toss just 5 feet away, or roll your toy along the ground for a quick pounce and reward! Play fetch with multiple dogs is NEVER SAFE. They may run into each other and get hurt.

  5. Use SAFE DOG TOYS. Not every toy is safe, balls are super dangerous on many fronts. Dogs can choke on them very easily if they are too small (and most are). They also tend to bounce all over the place and cause the dog the have to change direction very suddenly, this can result in injury. We also hear about dogs running into a fence or wall causing neck injuries, so be careful!

  6. Play only for a couple of minutes. We are not looking to tire the dog out physically, mental exhaustion is better. This is why fetch should never be a mindless game, but instead a collaborative effort! If you condition your dog physically to want more they can become ADRENALINE JUNKIES. These dogs NEVER STOP and will pester you 24/7 to get what they want.

  7. DON'T JUST THROW THE VALUE AWAY! That's right, if your dog LOVES TO FETCH and you toss those toys without asking for behaviours that you like, you are throwing away some of the best value in dog training that is available!

  8. And as always, if you and your dog are not having fun, you are not doing it right! Ask for help from your trainer!

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