How To Teach My Dog To Play Fetch is an interesting topic and right now were going to do our best to discuss this in detail, so i hope you enjoy.
Do you want to teach your dog a neat new trick? Are you just getting started with puppy training and want to teach your dog the basics? I’m going to let you in on a dog trainer secret– when teaching dogs a new skill, no matter how simple or complex the behavior we want to train, we follow the same process every time. And once you learn this process, you can teach your dog anything!
One of my goals as a dog trainer is to equip my human students with the tools to understand how dogs learn and the training mechanics for them to easily and effectively put into practice on their own. This means they’ll have the means to train their dog for life, not only building a robust human-canine relationship but also helping to prevent problem behaviors. This empowers them to pursue lots of different activities with their dogs, from competition obedience to other dog sports like Canicross, Flyball, or Agility.
Let’s look at the process of how to teach your dog to do anything. Once you know these 4 steps, all you need is some creative thinking, problem-solving skills, and practice!How To Teach My Dog To Play Fetch
Step One: Decide What You Want to Train
If you don’t know what you want, it’s going to be really hard for your dog to figure it out! When deciding what you’re going to teach your dog, you need to frame it a certain way– don’t think about what you want your dog to stop doing. You must give your dog clear criteria for a behavior that is incompatible with any unwanted behavior.
Trainer Note: The four steps outlined in this article are meant to show the process of teaching a dog a new obedience behavior based on specific positions or movements. These are not necessarily the same training plan steps a dog trainer or canine behavior consultant would rely on for behavior modification (such as leash reactivity, fear aggression, resource guarding, or anxiety).
If your dog is struggling with these types of behaviors to begin a personalized behavior modification plan with your dog, connect with a certified dog trainer or behavior consultant near you.
Examples of clearly defined training goals:
When greeting people, I want to teach my dog to sit.
I want to teach my dog to spin in a full circle to their right.
I want to teach my dog to walk at my pace within one foot of my left side when on leash.
I want to train my dog to go open the refrigerator, grab me a beer from the lower shelf and bring it to me, making sure to close the fridge door behind him.
These are all actions your dog can take and are well-defined, even though some are more complicated behaviors than others. No matter how complex a new behavior might seem, you’ll approach it the same way as a simple behavior. The only difference is that you train the full behavior in small slices, chaining the steps together as your dog learns– we’ll get more in-depth on this during the next step.
Step Two: Make the Behavior Happen
Some behaviors, such as sit or down, happen more often and more naturally than your dog walking on a loose leash. In order to learn a new behavior, a dog must be reinforced for it.
Build an environment where the behavior is easier to perform naturally or with the help of luring or shaping (which are explained below). Having environmental guides to encourage specific movements or positioning stacks the deck in your favor.
Examples of using environmental setups in training:
You’re teaching your dog to spin in a circle to their. Place a cone in the center for your dog to move around.
Use a long hallway and use the walls as a natural boundary that helps your dog learn correct heel positioning. This is especially helpful when you’re practicing heel with the dog closer and closer to your leg.
Set up a baby gate that your dog is behind whenever guests enter your home. This gives guests protection from a jumping dog and an opportunity to request a sit.
Want to learn more about your dog’s behavior and get some training tips? We’ve got 101 more for you here!Lure the Behavior
Guide your dog into position or through the movement of the behavior with a lure. This is most easily done with a food treat, but can also be done with a toy or with nothing in the hand at all once a dog has learned how to follow hand prompts.
A food lure is when you have a treat in a closed hand, and that hand guides the dog into the desired position. A dog is likely to follow a food lure because they can smell the treat, and if you can control where their head goes, you can control how their body moves or is positioned.
When first introducing a new behavior to your dog, sometimes it takes practice to get the lure just right in positioning and speed. If you’re teaching your dog to sit when they greet someone, you’ll place the lure right in front of their nose and slowly move it over their head (between their ears). The dog should follow the lure with their nose, causing their rear end to hit the floor.
Watch this video to see Mary Berry learn the basics of following a lure:
Shape the Behavior
Shaping is a fun and incredibly effective dog training method, fully utilizing the power of marker training (clicker training). If you and your dog are familiar with the clicker, you can teach more complex behaviors with shaping.
Taking a step towards the refrigerator
Grabbing a rope attached to the fridge handle
Pulling on a rope or towel to open the door
Grabbing onto the beverage (gently!).
Pulling the beverage out of the fridge.
Closing the fridge.
Bringing the drink to you.
You can even slice these portions of the entire behavior into smaller pieces. By focusing on easy steps one by one, your dog will be more successful and learn the whole process faster because they understand each action of the sequence.
Shaping can be done in conjunction with a lure, which can be especially helpful if a dog isn’t wanting to follow a lure into a certain position like down (Trainer Note: Make sure your dog isn’t avoiding certain positions or movements during training due to being in pain or injured. If your dog might be in pain.), check out this article on how to tell.
One of my favorite ways to train is called Free Shaping, where the dog is offering behaviors in an effort to get the click without any prompting or lure. I find that this keeps a dog engaged in the training process and really builds their problem solving skills!
Capture the Behavior.
Capturing a behavior means that you wait until the action naturally occurs on its own, allowing you to reinforce it. Most recently, I’ve been using the capturing method with my dog to work on her “stretch” trick. Whenever I see her naturally stretching, usually whenever she gets up from her dog bed, I take the opportunity to name it and reward it.
Step Three: Mark and Reinforce the Behavior.
The more a behavior is reinforced (whether with a food reward or something else that the dog finds valuable), the more it will be repeated. It’s up to us to make sure we’re reinforcing the behaviors we want our dog to learn so they will choose to do them more often and when asked.
This is where your clicker (or marker word such as saying “click” or “yes”) is going to do all the heavy lifting for you. When your dog is performing the new behavior, mark it with a click or word, then give them a treat. And repeat!
When Do You Name the Behavior?
Don’t worry about giving the behavior a verbal cue until your dog is reliably performing it. Once they understand the action that’s getting the click, start saying the cue (such as “Sit”) as they are sitting down. Click and treat!
Dogs learn by association. With practice, you’ll be able to give them the verbal cue without any luring, and they’ll perform the behavior because they have associated the word with the action.
If you were not using a marker in training, the reinforcement (treat) needs to be given instantaneously with the action you’re wanting to reinforce, which can be hard! Your dog will learn faster if there is clear communication.
I recommend starting with moving but luring into shaping as quickly as you can when first training a new behavior. This way you’re utilizing the clicker to its full potential, and your dog is learning important problem-solving skills that will make future training easier! Click here for more information about using a clicker with luring versus shaping methods.
Step Four: Practice and Generalize the Behavior.
Then it all comes down to repetition and practice once you’ve gotten started with the above steps. You’ll want to practice the behavior around low distractions at first before slowly adding in busier, and therefore harder, environments. Walking on a loose leash at home is easier for your dog than walking on a loose leash in the park– there’s all those smells and squirrels to contend with!
Once your pup has got the hang of the skill around no to low distractions, then make it a little bit harder. After walking on a loose leash inside, take it out to your driveway or the sidewalk in front of your home. Then around the block. This is called generalization, where your dog is learning that this new behavior is rewarding no matter where they are! Once a behavior has been generalized, you can then begin to fade out training treats in the environments where your dog is reliably performing the cue.
By following the general steps outlined above, you can teach your dog to do anything you can imagine (within their physical abilities, of course)! Training your dog to do things you like means that you can ask them for alternative and incompatible options to prevent unwanted behaviors, such as sitting in front of guests instead of jumping on them, or walking nicely on lead instead of dragging you down the street. If you need help getting started, connecting with a certified dog trainer can help you and your dog work as a team and will give you the chance to learn training skills that will last a lifetime.How To Teach My Dog To Play Fetch
Are you looking for the best commands to teach your dog? Having a trained dog isn’t the same as having a balanced dog, teaching your dog basic dog training commands can be helpful when tackling behavior problems despite whether they are existing ones or those that may develop in the future.
So where exactly do you start with teaching your dog commands? While taking a class may be beneficial for you and your pup, there are many dog training commands you can teach your dog right at home. Below, we’ve listed the best list of dog commands you and your pup are guaranteed to enjoy.
Teaching your dog to sit is one of the most basic dog commands to teach your pup, thus making it a great one to start with. A dog who knows the “Sit” command will be much calmer and easier to control than dogs who aren’t taught this simple command. Additionally, the “Sit” command prepares your dog for harder commands such as “Stay” and “Come.”.
Here’s how to teach your dog the “Sit” command:.
Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose.
Move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat and causing his bottom to lower.
Once he’s in sitting position, say “Sit,” give him the treat, and share affection.
Repeat this sequence a few times every day until your dog has it mastered. Ask your dog to sit before mealtime, when leaving for walks and during other situations when you ‘d like him calm and seated.
Another important command for your dog to learn is the word “come.” This command is extremely helpful for those times you lose grip on the leash or accidentally leave the front door open. Once again, this command is easy to teach and will help keep your dog out of trouble.
Put a leash and collar on your dog.
Go down to his level and say, “Come,” while gently pulling on the leash.
When he gets to you, reward him with affection and a treat.
Once he’s mastered it with the leash, remove it and continue to practice the command in a safe, enclosed area.
The reason it may be hard for your dog to master this command is that it requires him to be in a submissive posture. You can help out your dog by keeping training positive and relaxed, especially if your dog is fearful or anxious.
Find a particularly good smelling treat, and hold it in your closed fist.
Hold your hand up to your dog’s snout. When he sniffs it, move your hand to the floor, so he follows.
Then slide your hand along the ground in front of him to encourage his body to follow his head.
Once he’s in the down position, say “Down,” give him the treat, and share affection.
Repeat this training every day. If your dog tries to sit up or lunge toward your hand, say “No” and take your hand away. Don’t push him into a down position, and encourage every step your dog takes toward the right position. After all, he’s working hard to figure it out!
Similar to the “Sit” command, the “Stay” cue will help make your dog easier to control. This command can be helpful in a number of situations such as those times you want your dog out of the way as you tend to household chores or when you don’t want your pup overwhelming guests.
Before attempting to teach your dog this command, make sure your dog is an expert at the “Sit” cue. If he hasn’t quite mastered the “Sit” command, take the time to practice it with him before moving on to the “Stay” cue.
Ask your dog to “Sit.”.
Then open the palm of your hand in front of you, and say “Stay.”.
Take a few steps back. If he stays, reward him with a treat and affection.
Gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving the treat.
Always reward your pup for staying put– even if it’s just for a few seconds.
This is an exercise in self-control for your dog, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to master, particularly for puppies and high-energy dogs. Most dogs prefer to be on the move rather than just waiting and sitting.
I’m going to let you in on a dog trainer secret– when teaching dogs a new skill, no matter how simple or complex the behavior we want to train, we follow the same process every time. One of my goals as a dog trainer is to equip my human students with the tools to understand how dogs learn and the training mechanics for them to easily and effectively put into practice on their own. If you need help getting started, connecting with a certified dog trainer can help you and your dog work as a team and will give you the chance to learn training skills that will last a lifetime.
Teaching your dog to sit is one of the most basic dog commands to teach your pup, thus making it a great one to start with. You can help out your dog by keeping training positive and relaxed, especially if your dog is fearful or anxious.