The secret behind the drop command: How to play a perfect game of fetch

The secret behind the drop command: How to play a perfect game of fetch

Posted by Pet Direct on 3rd Nov 2020

Fetch is an awesome way to play and train with your dog. It strengthens your bond and is a great way to exercise with your dog. Some dogs love chasing after toys and might bring it back but are reluctant to drop the toy. Here is a fun and effective way to teach a reliable drop and have a paw-fect game of fetch.

Two toy fetch

You will need:

How to play

  • Take toy number 1 and get your dog excited about it.
  • Throw toy number 1 and say 'get it' (or 'fetch' , whatever cue you want to say).
  • Dog gets toy.
  • Dog starts to retrieve back to you.

(For dogs that don’t come all the way back: Move backwards, facing your dog moving away excitingly from them to draw dog towards you more)

  • Present toy number 2 and excitedly say 'get ready' and get ready to throw toy number 2 with your body language
  • As soon as dog drops toy number 1 from their mouth say 'yes' and throw toy number 2.

(Trouble shooting - if your dog doesn’t drop toy number 1 straight away don’t give up, be interested and excited about the toy in your hand, act like its the best toy ever and your dog will want to play with it and will drop toy number 1 from their mouth. You might need to do a lot of acting to begin with but it will get easier once your dog gets the game. Don’t give up!)

  • Praise your dog and tell them to go get it!
  • Calmly pick up toy number 1.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Have fun

Once you have some flow, you may start to predict when your dog is going to drop the toy in their mouth to get ready for the second one. Then you can add a verbal cue, for example 'drop' or 'out' you can choose any word you like.

  • Say your cue word once just before you get ready to throw the toy.
  • Mark the moment your dog drops the toy in his mouth by saying 'yes'.
  • Reinforce it by immediately throwing the toy in your hand.
  • Tell them go get it! And celebrate with your dog with praise.

Top tips for two toy fetch

  • Have two identical toys
  • Keep two toy fetch toys special. Don’t leave them on the ground, put them away and only bring them out for playtime.
  • Let your dog win. Let them win the game and enjoy the toys to himself for a while.
  • Finish the game giving your dog some treats in a puzzle feeder while you put the toys away.
  • Collar Puller are great toys.
  • Start practising at home then take your skills and play out and about.
  • If your dog doesn’t have a super reliable recall, use a light weight long line attached to your dogs harness.

Two toy fetch is a great way to bond with your dog. If your dog loves to tug, you can use tug as a reward for bringing the toy back to you. Have fun playing with your dog. Make sure to take breaks, keep playing and training sessions short, sweet and successful. If you or your dog are getting frustrated take a break and do something you both enjoy.

For any advice on training and playing with your dog, don't hesitate to reach out to one of Pet Direct's Customer Service Experts on 0800 200 240.

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