The sun is shining here in KZN in South Africa so we’re probably in for the last of the really hot days leading into our winter.
Today’s challenge is about the retrieve. Most dogs are hard-wired to chase a moving object, some breeds more than others. The interesting thing about the retrieve is that if your dog has not been exposed to retrieve games before the age of 14 weeks then it is more difficult to teach the retrieve. Scott and Fuller (1965) discovered that a dog’s willingness to fetch an object is definitely influenced by early exposure to retrieving games. What they found was that pups exposed to retrieving games between the ages of 9 and 14 weeks became significantly more avid retrievers than those exposed later. They also discovered that these puppies were easier to train than those who had been introduced to retrieving later (around 32 weeks).
However, it is possible to teach an adult dog to retrieve. You just have to wake up the desire to chase and grab a moving object. You can do this through games and play.
This video goes through the steps to teach your dog a retrieve and a delivery to hand. What he is doing is back chaining the retrieve. See here for more on back chaining the retrieve for a dog competing in field trials.
It’s worth commenting on how teaching the dog or pup to target your palm with his nose or his chin encourages him to come to an outstretched hand.
Another game you can play with your dog that involves the retrieve is to put your toys away. This video shows you how. Your dog needs to be able to retrieve his toys before you can teach this trick.
So… get out those toys and balls and start practising “Fetch”.
I will make some videos of my dogs playing fetch games later on today. In the meantime have fun training and STAY SAFE. Remember if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me through the LOCKDOWN Facebook page.