A Fun Game of Fetch in 8 Easy Steps

Teaching your dog to fetch in 8 easy steps

Training your dog to play the game of fetch and to retrieve a ball or toy is as fun as it sounds and can be done in 8 easy steps. Many people tell me that their dog will not do this and I am here to give you the successful tips that I have used for many years to teach dogs and their humans how to play.

To begin, start indoors in a room with no distractions.  Be prepared with dog kibble or treats – a Dixie cup size works.  Also, have two or three of your dog’s favorite toys or balls.  To teach the game and create the desire to play, you don’t have to use balls to start. Attach a leash to your dog’s collar and just let them drag it on the floor.

  1. Start by sitting down on the floor and use a toy to get your dog’s interest – I usually pretend the toy or ball is moving around as if it were a little animal.
  2. As soon as your dog looks over with interest, roll or toss the toy a few feet away.  You have to toss or roll it before they can grab it with their mouth.  Usually your dog will go to grab the toy as it’s moving.
  3. As soon as they pick up or touch the toy -PRAISE them!  Atta boy!  Great job!  Remember this is all baby steps at first.
  4. If that is all they do, no worries, you grab a different toy and repeat the above process.  Be excited about the toys.
  5. If they did  pick up the toy you tossed, more praise and hopefully, your excitement will usually draw them back to you!
  6. DO NOT TRY TO TAKE THE TOY AWAY FROM THEM IF THEY BRING IT BACK. Just praise and say, Good job!  Maybe pet their chest and compliment them on their toy!
  7. Show them the treat and try to trade the toy for the treat. As soon as they take the treat, they will drop the toy, now quickly through the toy back.  This is KEY! They have to see you don’t just keep their toy and you always give it back.
  8. If they are not coming back initially, you use the leash to guide them back and reward with the treat.

To finish the first session, you need to end the game before the dog decides to end the game.  This harder for the humans as everyone gets excited when they see success and they want to keep going.  Only do about 3-5 tosses at first and then stop playing.  This will make your dog all the more interested and engaged the next time you play.  Stay with playing this indoor initially until your dog gets great about bringing the toy to you and starts to drop it immediately.  This is when you can fade from using the treat!

I love this for kids because kids usually want to play with their dog, but don’t always know the best ways to play.  First, teach your dog and then it will be easy to hand the reins to your child. This also is a great bonding activity to do for the family and the dog.

If you’d like to see this in action, I have several sessions that I have posted on my Kids-n-K9s Facebook page!  http://<iframe src=”https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fkidsnk9s%2Fvideos%2F337510970624561%2F&show_text=0&width=560″ width=”560″ height=”315″ style=”border:none;overflow:hidden” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ allowTransparency=”true” allowFullScreen=”true”></iframe>

Shelter-in-Place – Preventing Incidents with the Family Dog

advice during shelter in place for the family dog
During this time of shelter-in-place, you’re spending a lot more time together as a family.  Most of the extra time together is good, but there may be some negative consequences as new routines are being established.  Recently I was informed of an incident involving a family dog biting a five year old child who crawled into the dog crate while the dog was sleeping.  After hearing this, I thought it would be a good time to talk about how some of these new daily routines could impact your child and dog.  Let’s  help educate your child about making good decisions with the family dog, and avoid potentially bad incidents like a bite.
 
Children who are normally gone for many hours of the day, expending energy at school, are now spending their days at home.  The routine for the dog is probably different too. They may not have as much time to rest as usual, and there is constant sound and movement in the house from family members.  Some dogs may love the extra family around, but others may not.  
 
All this extra togetherness just increases the likelihood of a potential incident happening. Supervision is always important when it comes to dogs and kids, but realistically you just can’t watch everything all the time. So what else can you do?  Try taking some time to establish clear boundaries and rules with your children regarding your dog(s).  Looking back on the incident with the young child mentioned earlier, it’s likely that the dog was startled while asleep and reacted. It could also be that the dog was protecting its space.  It’s difficult to prevent all bad things from happening, but this is a good time to be proactive with basic child/dog safety tips. 
 
If your child is old enough to have a conversation, go over some basic tips to help your child learn when to give space and undisturbed rest time to the dog. Space should always be given when a dog is eating and sleeping. Don’t assume your child knows all of the basics. If you need a simple child/dog safety tool that covers many of the basic tips, the Stop, Look & Paws sticker set, that was designed for parents to use with children, can be a big help.  It’s also something fun for your child, because they get to sort 12 reusable dog stickers into safe-to-pet or not-safe-to-pet sections on a game board.
 
So, take some time to sit with your child and review basic safety tips with the family dog.  If you need some help, you can read some of the Kids-n-K9s.com blogs and/or get a Stop, Look & Paws sticker set.  Enjoy the extra family time and be safe!

2020 Family Choice Award

As one of the most coveted and family-friendly consumer awards programs in the nation, the Family Choice Awards recognizes the finest products and services that enrich the lifestyles of children and families. http://www.familychoiceawards.com/family-choice-awards-winners/stop-look-paws/  A distinguished panel of judges voted Stop, Look & Paws based on physical appearance, quality, ease of instructions, entertainment value and engagement, durability, uniqueness, value for the price and if this would be something to recommend.

I felt very honored to receive this award as Stop, Look & Paws took years to design and produce.  I hope it continues to help many families years into the future.

Family Choice Award, Stop, Look & Paws

Family Dog Magazine Recognizes Stop, Look & Paws

In American Kennel Clubs (AKC), Family Dog Magazine has a Kids Issue which comes out annually every November/December.  AKC heard about Kids-n-K9s and that we are now a non profit organization trying to help reduce the number of dog bites to children.  Stop, Look & Paws was recognized as a valuable tool for adults and children to learn together about dog body language.  Click the link  to view the entire magazine about dogs and kids.  Enjoy!

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/48793267#/48793267/6