How to Teach Your Dog to Fetch

By Eric Letendre


ching your dog to fetch is a wonderful activity. A dog that retrieves tends to get more exercise than a dog that doesn't. With a retriever, it's easy for you to just stand in one spot and throw a ball for your dog. A lot of dogs like to chase after the ball and bring it towards the owner. When the dog gets close enough he/she starts to play keep away. You can get your dog to give you the ball by having two tennis balls with you.

Things You'll Need:

  • Two tennis balls


Step 1:

Throw the first ball and let your dog go after it. When your dog starts to come towards you, ask your dog to "drop it."

Step 2:

If your dog does not drop the ball, stop paying any attention to your dog and take out the second ball.

Step 3:

Start to have fun with the second ball. Toss it up in the air. Act like you're having a great time with the second ball. Keep doing this until your dog looks at you. If you've done this step correctly, your dog will drop the ball that he/she has and look up at the one you have.

Step 4:

As soon as your dog drops his/her ball, show the ball you're holding to your dog. As soon as your dog focuses on the ball that you're holding, throw it.

Step 5:

Repeat the process when your dog comes back to you. Within a short period of time, you'll have your dog retrieving for you.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always make sure that you have two balls with you.
  • Get your dog interested in the second ball when they come back to you.
  • The better you are at acting like you're having a great time with the second ball, the faster your dog will drop the ball he/she has.
  • Don't throw your ball until your dog has dropped the ball he/she has.
  • End the retrieving game before your dog gets bored with it. This way the next time you play fetch, your dog will be very excited about it.

How to Teach Your Dog to Fetch Provided by



Eric Letendre, author of the book "The Amazing Dog Training Man," has been professionally training dogs for the past 18 years and has helped literally thousands of dog owners learn gentle and effective training methods to teach obedience and solve behavior problems. On Eric's website,, he offers over 1000 pages of dog training tips, videos, and articles as well as dog training books, DVDs, and online dog training courses.


Comments (25)
Apr 19, 2008 bedsleeper123
thank you! been waiting for some advice!!!!!
Apr 22, 2008 dailymarky
It is a wonderful activity!
Apr 28, 2008 danman1
takes some time but it works
Apr 30, 2008 halarni_27
My dog is soooo cheeky i cannoy get the ball from him.. but yes ive been doing this b4 any1 told me wat to do..and it totally works..but thanx so much for helping others also.. xxx
Apr 30, 2008 halarni_27
My dog is soooo cheeky i cannot get the ball from him.. but yes ive been doing this b4 any1 told me wat to do..and it totally works..but thanx so much for helping others also.. xxx
May 4, 2008 Michaela
thank you
May 8, 2008 newdan1
May 8, 2008 newdan1
Jun 10, 2008 jewellybooly
my dog is 2 and she never learned 2 fetch so we will try this!!!
Jun 19, 2008 abbysgale
cool, I will try this
Jul 7, 2008 april_maldo25
Nice! My dog loves to fetch the ball but NEVER wants to drop it, she wants you to chase her to get the ball, lol. I will definitely try this thanks!
Jul 25, 2008 sadiencharliessis
my dogs r fetching impared if u know what i mean. we have tried over and over again to get them to fetch but they just wont!! u throw the ball and they run and get it then lay down and chew on it!! i will try this though and see if it works. it will b a miracle if it does :)
Aug 13, 2008 justi
that is really good advice I've always tried to get my dog to give me the ball but he never does
Aug 18, 2008 grifftastic
worked like a charm.
Aug 27, 2008 Cairns are CuTe!!!
The only problem with my 4 yr old cairn is that he doesn't even bother come back!!! He just runs off like he got away with something big=]LOL
Jan 12, 2009 puppylover55555
I think I will try it 'cus my dawgs always run away with the ball and one of mine growls when I try to take it away.Ill see if it works and thanx!
Jan 26, 2009 Maxiemoo
Hmmm...Max is veeery cheeky,so I think I will try this! The comments from others sound encouraging...:D
I tried this on my puppy...and it worked sooooo well! TTTTTTHHHHHAAAANNNNNKKKKKSSS!!!!!!! !!!!!!!
Mar 28, 2009 Teddy- stephanie
that is exactly wat my dog does he comes toward me with the ball and the stops to play with it i am going to try this, i hope it works!! thank you for the advice.
May 21, 2009 loveofsheltie
My dog used to play ball and he would bring it back to me all the time.Well we have a Tangerine tree in our backyard and he discovered he liked the Tangerine better. We now have to wait until the Tangerine season gets here. he will still chase the ball, but he won't bring it back. I'll try your way . Thanks for the great information.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
May 25, 2009 Hersheypup
Very cool, thx. I have a Lab and she sure can retrieve, but she never drops the ball after she gets it! Lol. So this is helpful.
May 31, 2009 ballerchick17
I really hope this helps. My dog is terrible at fetch' it's more a game or keep away.
Jun 22, 2009 DailyPuppy Admin
Great advice! Thanks!
Jul 24, 2011 zeuss
lol my dog just takes the other ball with him with he gos after the other ball.
Nov 28, 2013 SarahJK
I strongly suggest following article to learn how to teach your dog bring you something with detail in this website.There is also car key example to understand the situation better.They really know what they are doing. http://www.makeuskn to-teach-your-dog-tricks-to-find-an d-bring-you-something.html
Any inappropriate content? Tell DailyPuppy!

Puppy Up Your Blog

Daily Puppy WidgetBox Widget Get this widget from Widgetbox