Are you tired of being ridiculed by other dogs in the park for not knowing how to play fetch? I was, but it didn’t take me too long to teach my walking pooper-scooper how to give me some extra exercise.
Let’s first level set. I am not really the type to chase after something for no reason. Normally if someone threw something and commanded me to fetch, I would sit and stare at them or flip them the proverbial dew claw. But since the cold weather set in, I was starting to get stir crazy and my human treat machine was clueless on what to do. So here is a step-by-step guide to help you teach them to help you.
Step 1 – Manipulation:
If you are like me and not the subservient retrieving type, you need to make sure your good’ol collar remover knows what motivate you. Is it food, a hug, belly scratch? Hopefully you have taught them this by now. If not, double-check to make sure you’re not a cat, because they really don’t have that level of talent. Ok, now that we have established the motivation, you need to let them think they can train you through manipulation. We will cover manipulation at another time; it’s the BEST! Once they think they can manipulate you with something you really want, then you have accomplished step 1; because they will get all cocky and think that when they throw something for you, they can manipulate you into fetching it.
Step 2 – Show Interest:
So, when the object is thrown, fain interest, but not too much, or too soon. This is the long game and you need the patience my friend in order to maximize on the good stuff. Take a couple steps toward the object and then casually look back like you don’t really understand. You sly dawg, this is guaranteed to get you a reward. Remember to give them the big puppy dog eyes. If you got’em, use’em. Now here is the tricky part. You need to keep moving closer and closer to the object thrown, or these treat machines stop dispensing. A bit crazy, I know.
Step 3 – Return to Sender:
Ok, so you are now at the point where you have committed and made a mad dash to the object. You might think this is enough, but just one quick run is really not enough exercise, especially if you have already devoured 10 snausages teaching your lump how you want to play fetch. So, you now need to start to at least picking it up and making an effort to bring it back. Feel free to drop it a few times on the way back, or even run in the other direction with it. Drives them crazy, but will lead to more treats. Cool!
Step 4 – Showtime:
With a relatively satisfied stomach, or ego, you can now begin teaching them that they can have some fun by throwing the object more than once. If you bring the object backs them and start dropping it relatively close to them, I bet they throw it again. It doesn’t even need to be at their feet. They are such suckers and easily trainable. I got my human to get his fat butt out of the chair almost every time. Again, if you are still craving more of the good stuff, then you can make this part as long and drawn out as you want, because they will feel like they are on the edge of a breakthrough and really not want to quit at this stage, lest they have to start all over again. Sometimes, they just really don’t get us.
Step 5 – The End Game:
They now believe they own your mind, but really, who’s fooling who. You can now initiate exercise pretty much at will just by bringing the object to them. Play as long as you want and when you are tired, just pretend you have forgotten the game and tear the stuffing out of the object in a fit of rage.
Oh I dare I have shared too much.