“Fetch” is that iconic dog/dog owner game that you always think of when you think of dogs and people.  You think of dogs in the park, dogs in the front yard, dogs in the hills, etc.; and there always is the “go get it, fetch, bring it” play going on.

Most dogs don’t understand “Fetch” all by themselves.  It is something we need to teach them.  The problem is that it is actually a complicated process and needs to be taught in a way that the dog can understand and eventually master.  Now, don’t get me wrong, you can teach your dog to fetch.  You need to understand what “Fetch” really entails, how your dog learns, and how your dog can learn “Fetch”.

Dogs learn through consistency and repetition.  They also learn through single action modules.  Think if you were an actor and just got a leading role in a play.  You wouldn’t sit down, read the entire script, and say “Let’s go”.  You would individually review each scene and practice each one over and over again. Once you were comfortable that you really mastered one scene, you would move on to the next.  Eventually, you were ready to perform in the play.

Dogs are the same way.  The fact that you need to realize is that “Fetch” is like a multi-act play.  When you ask your dog to “Fetch”, you are asking him to do several things.  This is very different from a command like “Sit” where the only thing your dog needs to do is to place his rear end on the ground.

So why are we talking about “Fetch” today?  The obvious reason is to help you teach your dog to retrieve things.  The larger, and more important reason is to provide you with a practical example of how dogs really learn in our complex world.  Robin and I have a great dog training blog titled “How Do I Teach My Dog to Fetch”.

Fetch