Ball games and fetching
Fetching can be a great game for both the owner and the dog. When both of you are intensively involved in the game, it can challenge your dog mentally and physically. In this game your dog can enjoy his natural behaviour, which is chasing the prey.
You can teach fetching to any dog! However, it takes some patience and time. Not every dog understands or is interested in fetching at first. Make sure that as the owner you make the game interesting for your furry friend. Below is a step-by-step explanation of how to teach your dog how to fetch.
Step 1: Search
Start by making the object interesting for your dog. You will stimulate his interest by playing with the ball yourself, without him being allowed to touch it. Pick up the ball a few times, throw it in the air and bounce. Enthusiastically show your dog how much you like the ball. Once your dog’s curiosity has been triggered, allow your dog to touch the ball once in a while. When your dog does this, reward him immediately. The dog will associate touching the toy with a treat. Try to practice with your dog as many times as possible.
Step 2: Pick up
You can learn how to pick up the ball the same way. When your furry friend picks up the ball, you reward it enthusiastically and put it back in place. Here you can learn a clear command as ‘fetch’ or ‘grab’. Practise this until your dog realises that picking up the ball gives him a reward.
Step 3: Return
Bringing the ball back is a pretty simple step. Usually the dog has already learned to come to the owner when he gets called. If this is not the case, learn your dog the command ‘here’ or ‘come’. Every time your dog comes to you after this command, reward him with a nice treat.
Step 4: Loose!
Releasing the ball is the last and perhaps even the most difficult step of the fetching game. Because most dogs see their ball as ‘prey’, they won’t let go of the ball or run away, rather than give it back to you. Don’t run after your dog, but stay in place. Reward your dog when he lets go of the ball and practise it until he has fully grasped the game.
Fetch games are fun and active, but can also be stressful to your dog, especially for their joints. Because the ball bounces in all directions, the dog has to slow down, turn and twist. Do not play this game with four-legged friends who are prone to joint problems and puppies.
The correct ball
There are dozens of different kinds of dog balls to choose from. Always choose a ball that is big enough for your dog. Make sure that the ball is made of solid material, so that it can’t bite it to pieces. At Vetsend, you will find a wide range of fun and quality dog balls. For example, check out the Jolly Egg, Chuckit! Ultra Ball, Rogz Grinz Ball and the KONG Ball. Do you want to make the game even more exciting? Check out our ball launchers!