Behavior Tip of the Month
Teaching a "Fun" & Easy FETCH
My dog won't exercise himself, and I'm exhausted when I come home from work. What can I do?
There is a perfect solution. Teach your dog to fetch. You can relax on your recliner, watch your favorite TV program, throw a ball, and give your dog an Olympic workout.
Sue Sternberg, a leading trainer and rescuer of dogs, has a neat little booklet called "A Guide to the Inducive Retrieve". It tells you how to teach your dog the three behaviors she must learn on order to successfully retrieve: "take", "hold", and "give".
In the olden days, teaching the "take" involved pinching a dog's ear until he opened his mouth and yelped. Then one shoved the retrieving toy into his mouth. Sounds barbaric, right?
In 2003, we have the "inducive retrieve." As Sue Sternberg says, "This is a food- reward retrieving method ----fun, successful, positively reinforceable, and reliable. This method works equally well on different breeds, from crazy natural retrievers, to 'non-traditional' breeds; from young puppies to
mature, bored or stressed retrievers.
All you need are a whole bunch of tiny, soft treats your dog would kill for, and a very hungry dog."
The booklet can be bought over the Internet at Dogwise
for a mere $5.00. It's the best deal in dog-town. An added benefit of this method is your dog will learn to give you any item he has in his mouth -----your underwear, your TV remote, your Kleenex, etc.
One additional tip I would add is to stop playing tug of war, keep away, or chasing your dog. These games teach a dog to: 1. hold on to an item and never give it up 2, to run away from you instead of coming to you. Also, don't throw any toys until your canine has mastered the "take", "hold", and "give".
If you make your dog a retriever, she'll be "golden", no matter what her breed.
"A tired dog is a good dog", so relax, watch TV, and have fun exhausting your K9.
Fetchingly yours, Carole
Best Friend Behavior Counseling and Training
San Diego, Ca.
"Positively teaching pets and their people since 1977"
Do you have a question for Carole? You can reach her at this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps she will use it in an upcoming article on this Web site.
The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.