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Training Your Dog to Fetch and Drop the Ball

One of the coolest tricks a dog can learn is to fetch and drop a toy or ball at your feet. It's a fantastic way to give them exercise without you becoming completely worn out, and it allows your dog to get a bit of that excess energy out of the way.

But, you'll need to train them carefully to make sure they understand not only the fetching behaviour but the need to drop it on command.

Here are some dog training tips to help you get started, and hopefully move on to fun games that will stimulate your dog's mind.

  * Fetch is Not Keep Away - Reading this, you might think your dog already knows how to fetch. They run after the ball, then bring it back to you and try to keep it to themselves. This is not fetch. This is a behaviour that most dogs already have.

Unfortunately, it is also a behaviour that can be very frustrating and can lead to short play sessions and a lot of destroyed tennis balls. So, first up, you need to learn how to teach them to "drop it.

  * Drop It - When teaching your dog to "drop it", there are a few options. I like to teach my dog to drop it in a different context. Using a clicker or a treat reward system, you'll need one of their favourite toys and a bit of time.

Wait for the dog to pick up their favourite toy and then ask them to drop it. Use the clicker and wait for them to drop it. When they drop the toy, reward them. It can take a little bit of time to do this because they may not connect the two actions right away.

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Another way to teach your dog to drop it is to have two tennis balls and pretty much trick them into doing it. Throw the first ball and have them retrieve it. Most dogs should already know this part.

If the dog won't drop it when they return, pull out the second ball and ignore the dog, playing with the new tennis ball. It should only take a few seconds to get your dog's attention. Once you do, throw it and have them fetch it.

Soon enough, your dog will recognize that when they hear "drop it", you'll throw another ball. And eventually, you can use the same ball instead of a second one.

   * Not Boring Your Dog - Some dogs will play fetch for hours and never get bored. Others will retrieve the ball three times and then want to take a nap. Try to gauge when they will grow bored and stop playing before they decide it's nap time.

If you can end the game while they are still interested in it, you'll only heighten their interest in playing fetch next time you pull out a tennis ball, making it much more fun for both of you.

  * Maintaining Control - Above all else, make sure to maintain control of the game. If your dog will not drop the ball, don't try to take it away from them. Just wait until they drop it. You can't let them feel like they can control the situation and decide how the game will go.

Fetch is a fantastic game that is a lot of fun for both you and your dog. If you take the short amount of time it takes to teach your dog "drop it" and then reaffirm your commands every time the ball is thrown, you'll both have a lot more fun each time you go out to play.

Before I go I thought I'd let you know about a new product that I just discovered called Dog Bootcamp. It has got a lot of great dog training secrets inside, you'll not only learn how to train your dog to sit, stay, fetch and so forth, you'll learn how to communicate with your dog in a way that he knows what you want from him and will obey your every command.

  Go here to check out Dog Bootcamp:

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