View Full Version : Training Bailey to Fetch.

20th August 2006, 08:03 AM
I would love to teach bailey to fetch can anyone give me some advice on how to do this.


20th August 2006, 11:33 AM
Hi, I also have been trying to get Merlin to retrieve. The advice I have been given at training class is to just make it a recall to front but with them holding something in their mouths.

It takes time and doesn't happen overnight - you have to put aside a good hour or so when out for a walk.

Basically, you are best to have two toys. Throw one and reinforce "hold it" ( you can do this when they have pinched a sock or somthing so that they learn what hold is) - call them to you reinforcing "hold it" when eventually they come to you ( you may need to run your back and walk away for them to come to you) as soon as they come close enough for you to get the toy - take it and immediately throw the other one - make it a game......

I use 2 air kongs - they bounce but are also a shape that the cavy can pick up.

Another way to start this off is go to the beach or the river and throw the toy in the water and get them to pull it out of the water.

It is hard work - wev'e been training for the last 6 months on this and we can now see an improvement. Merlin will bring a toy back but will still drop it about 1/2 meter in front of you, so we are not quite there yet. I found it best to go early morning when no ones about - you don't feel such a fool shouting "hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it"

Hope this helps

Cathy Moon
20th August 2006, 03:22 PM
With Bailey being so small, I would do this sitting on the floor. You could probaby roll a small sized tennis ball for him, just roll it a short distance, and when he tries to catch it say Yayyy, or something like that so he knows you like that. Then if/when he picks it up try to get him to move towards you by leaning back a little, and say Yaayy again, so he knows that is good. When he returns, say Again? and gently take the ball from him to roll it again.

When he's a little bigger, try throwing the object a short distance, and when he picks it up move away from him, calling him at the same time, and he will probably come towards you. If he knows you're excited about that, he'll be more likely to come back to you. If you say Again?, make sure you always throw it again.

20th August 2006, 04:16 PM
Sorry, forgot how little Bailey was.......... - you're quite right - do it on the floor first in little spurts- essential to make it fun though. I think ll training should have some fun aspect even if it is just making yayy noises to show how pleased you are even with the littlest of things.


20th August 2006, 04:59 PM
As others note the way to train is to teach segments especially to a puppy; they can;t remember whole long actions. I taught Jaspar by first just throwing a soft toy or mini dog ball and most puppies will go pick it up. I'd praise cheerfully and sometimes reward with a bit of food just for him doing that. Then you will find he will sometimes accidentally happen to carry the toy partway back to you or all the way back -- that gets LOTS of praise and a treat! They catch on pretty quickly after a few times that it is really exciting when they actually bring the toy to you. If they drop it by you, that gets lots of praise/treats. Pretty soon most dogs pick this up. Some are never much interested in fetch though or only ever partly get it. Then some become fetch maniacs, like Jaspar -- he will fetch anything, from pieces of paper to earplugs to toys. Sometimes now he runs off with the toy though and rolls on it or sits with it wagging his tail for a while before he brings it back. :roll:

22nd August 2006, 09:15 AM
jadan still has his moments with the fetching too. i also have two toys on the go as he hasnt quite got the hang of the drop yet. i was told to gently squeez his uper lip against his teeth to make him drop (gently!) or hold a treat infront of him. the squeezing worked very well and now all i have to do is touch my hand over his snout and he will drop. i throw one toy and when he brings that one back i throw the other one. sumtimes he runs after it with the first one in his mouth and doesnt know which one to go for. so funny! he loves!!!!!! his rubber chicken. also teach by example. you throw the toy and if they dont go for it, you go for it and shout and jump about when you pick it up. this showed jadan what i wanted of him and he copied. ;)

5th September 2006, 01:10 PM
I've found that a dog will always be halfway there retrieving if the toy is a very favourite one.

Holly has a rope ring that was a christmas pressie to her a couple of years ago. It came covered in rawhide strips wrapped around the rope. She adored it from day one, but we expected her to lose interest once the rawhide had gone. Nup. Still loves it.

That made retrieving easy since she then ran after the ring and would hang on to it when she picked it up- before that, she'd run after whatever it was, but then ignore it! She's good with returning the ring- but we've given up with balls. The last time I threw a ball she picked it up, turned tail and headed for the car. It was pure good fortune that it was a Sunday and virtually no traffic on the road...