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How to Train a Dog to Fetch? | Step By Step Guide

Dogs love to play, we all know canines are crazy over fetch games. It also keeps them healthy and fit as it requires physical movement for playing. But not all dogs know how to play fetch while some need proper training while some need to be taught to retrieve as they are already good at chasing. Here is a complete guide on how to teach a dog to fetch with simple instructions by the pet experts.

All About Fetch and Catch with Dogs

  • Fetch is a pet game where a toy like a stick or a ball is thrown at a particular distance away from the dog, and the dog grabs and retrieves it back to you.
  • Some dogs love to play fetch, and the game comes very naturally for them to play, while the other dogs may find the idea of playing fetching somewhat foreign.
  • In addition, some dogs don’t show much curiosity in fetching toys or bringing the toy back after being tossed.
  • Teaching your dog to fetch may take some time, patience, and care, but it provides good health to your canine due to more exercising and running while playing Fetch, and also bonding between you and your dog strengthens.
  • Teaching your dog to fetch is not as simple as it seems and requires a lot of effort or exertion from your side.
  • It also involves a lot of time and patience to make your pet learn how to fetch and retrieve.

You can teach your buddy to learn to fetch by following some steps. But before that here are some things to teach a dog to play fetch and bring, let’s get into it.

Things you need while Teaching Fetch to Your Dog


While teaching, make sure that your pooch is interested in the training given to him, or else your whole efforts will go to vain. To involve them in practicum, you may need something to catch their attention and interest to keep learning and developing. Giving them their favorite dog treats is one of the most relevant things to attract your furry pet’s attention to the activity.


One more object that will help your pooch increase their curiosity in fetching the toy. Dog fetch toys come in a variety and should be chosen carefully according to your pet’s interest. If your dog likes plushies, make sure to buy plush toys instead of sticks or balls and vice versa.

How to Teach a Dog To Fetch?

Here are some simple steps to train your dog to play fetch, with simple tips, Let’s check out.

#1 Build interest in the toy

Try to get an interactive dog toy that your pet shows interest in. Just throw toys for dogs , this way, they will learn to play fetch more easily and quickly. If your dog is continuously chewing or playing with the toy, this shows that they are interested in it and can use it to train them to fetch. Move the toy around, tossing and pulling it, and your dog may go and grab their favourite toy, which is the first step towards success.

#2 Start with Chasing

Don’t know how to teach a puppy to fetch? Grab a toy and throw it at a moderate distance from your dog. Encourage your pup to go after the entity you want him to fetch. Reward them with treats for this step to keep them motivated to keep on doing this.

#3 Retrieving

Ask your dog to hold the toy, and when it picks it in one go, reward them with treats and praises. It is how you slowly start building understanding with your dog buddy, and your dog will be able to generalize the skill to a new location. Now since your canine is interacting with the toy, toss it just a few feet away on the ground from you. Continue increasing the distance of tossing the toy and ask your dog to go and get the toy back. As it earns familiarity with the game, you can begin to alternate between asking your pooch to get back the toy that you have put somewhere away or can try throwing/tossing the toy around.

#4 Click and Treat for Bringing the Toy

Sometimes, dogs immediately run after the toy, and some pets take time to analyze what to do right after you flung the toy. Try to practice with your pooch to avoid such conditions. Once your furry companion understands the working of fetch play, toss them a treat as a reward.

#5 Drop it!

Dog should know how to fetch and retrieve the toy and drop it after bringing it back to you. At first, you may find it challenging to make them drop the toy leading to the game of tug and war between yourselves, but eventually, they will learn it somehow. After every successful fetching, retrieving, and dropping, make sure to give them loads of treats, praises, and cuddles to encourage them.

Problems that may arise while teaching Fetch

While training your dog to fetch, it may chase the object you throw and run away with it without coming back to you. To avoid this, keep your dog on a leash, and whenever it tries to get away, tug the dog back to you. Another thing you can do if it runs away is walk away from there, ignoring your pooch, which may trigger the dog to run back to you.

Some dogs may take time to learn and develop. They can also start showing disinterest and laze around a lot. The thing is, you should remain calm and patient and not give up the training. Try to encourage your dog with different things, like rewarding them with their favorite treat or toys, praising every successful attempt of fetching. This will keep them interested and ongoing training will bring.


Many people have this misconception that dogs naturally know how to fetch play, but it is not true. While some dogs are good and already trained in how to fetch, other dogs may find it difficult and foreign to begin with. You need time, patience, and treats for your dog to make them learn to fetch.