How to Train Your Labrador Retriever to Fetch? 3 Easy Methods Explained


How to Train Your Labrador Retriever to Fetch? Training your Labrador to fetch is a useful procedure that can give both mental as well as physical stimulation for your dog. Labs are natural retrievers, which make this task comparatively straightforward with the appropriate method.

Begin with introducing the fetch command indoors. Use a favorite toy and inspire your dog to investigate it. Reward any contact with the object, slowly enhance your criteria until your lab is consistently picking it up and taking it back to you.

Use positive reinforcement methods, like clicker training or treats. When your Labrador retriever becomes more expert, slowly enhance the distance of the throws, initially indoors and then outdoor. Keep the training sessions engaging.

With patience as well as consistency, you can train Labrador retriever to fetch, giving an entertaining way to bond as well as exercise together. In this article, we provide three different techniques, all of which will rapidly provide results.

Research shows that Playful activity post-learning improves training performance in Labrador Retriever dogs, potentially due to increased arousal and decreased stress hormones.

Things to do

Start Indoors

If you are training your Labrador retriever to fetch, it is great to start indoors where there are less interruptions, moving the game outside to a safe area when he has the hang of it  and looks to be interested in it.

Leave Before He Does

One of the tricks to having a dog to be very excited about any game, comprising fetch, is to ensure to quit the game before your dog does. This way, he will want more so he will be enthusiastic the next time you play.

Declining Food Rewards

In 98% of circumstances with Labradors, how to play fetch is mostly introducing them with the procedure of the game. Using food rewards to do primary training works best as you can repeat them rapidly, making training progress rapid. But, it will not be long enough before the fetch game turns into its own reward. When you see your Labrador retriever enjoying the basic value of fetch, start decreasing the reward rate until the next toss gets the reward for every retrieve.

How to Get Started?


Pick the Right Ball

Most Labrador retrievers take tennis balls nicely. If you notice that your dog turns his snout up at a tennis ball, try training fetch using a favorite plush toy. When you get the essentials of the game down, you can easily switch to a ball later without worry.

Reward Success, Overlook Failure

Do not punish your Labrador retriever if he fails to retrieve. Make your dog link the game with bad stuff, reducing his ability to like it. The best approach to cope with failure to retrieve? Quit the game, leave, overlook your Labrador for a few minutes, then start again. If it continues to occur, your dog is tired. Start over some hours later and get more eagerness to the table.

Clicker & Treats

For the ‘Clicker’ technique, make sure you have your clicker as well as treats ready. Labs are generally so food encouraged that you can teach them with their consistent kibble foods. If you hold a clicker, then you see that you will click to smudge the behavior you need, followed by a reward. Otherwise, just say “YEEESSS!!” that you backup for training sessions, always tailed by a food reward.

How to Train Your Labrador Retriever to Fetch? 3 Easy Methods

Clicker Procedure    
Start from scratch
This is the quickest method to train your Labrador retriever to fetch while starting from scratch. Begin with a tennis ball if he looks to have a curiosity in it. If not, consider a plush toy he likes.
Short toss
Toss the tennis ball on the floor close to your dog, if your Labrador goes to sniff it, give him reward. If he goes again to sniff it, give him reward. If not, toss the tennis ball again and give reward for any investigation. Repeat it 10 to 15 times in quick sequence.
Raising the bar
Your Labrador retriever will soon be “expecting” a delicious treat for checking out that tennis ball or toy. At this time, start to delay the reward, hoping for an aggressive touch, or even grasp by the mouth. Give reward and continue to push towards a fetch by increasing your criteria until he is constantly picking the tennis ball up where it lands.
First retrieve
Over time, stay to raise your criteria, ensuring you are not moving quickly. Start to imagine him to take a step in the direction of you, soon he will approach you, dropping the tennis ball to get his reward. Repeat it 20 to 30 times, keeping the session fun.  
Add space indoors until it appears your Labrador retriever understands and likes the game. Then you can play the game to a fenced-in space. Begin with close tosses like 3 to 5 feet, increasing the distance of the toss with the passage of time.
The Two Balls Procedure
When to use
Some Labradors already like choosing a tennis ball, chewing it, or running away with a tennis ball. In the meantime, dropping the tennis ball is not on their plan! In this case, give this procedure a try. It does not need any food rewards, it just utilizes the fact that he loves that tennis ball already as a way to train him the game of fetch.
Two balls
Catch two tennis balls and start indoors where he feels relaxed. Toss a tennis ball, he will get it. Then grasp the other ball and show up it is the better tennis ball.
Best ball
Obviously, this is the best ball in your hands! Dogs are very vulnerable to this game. Timidly let him give that tennis ball in your hand a sniff, and he will drop the ball that was in his mouth. Quickly toss the new ball eagerly!
Old ball in hand
Make sure to have the old ball in hand before he gets back! Repeat the previous step, ensuring to keep things enjoyable and fun. Use admiration once your dog goes to have the other ball, and allow the new toss be the reward for releasing the old one.
Play the game out to a restricted area and continue to play this fun game. You will have a dog that goes to you and drops the old ball, in expectation for the toss of the new ball. Ensure that you stand there and say: “Where is your ball?” until he drops the old ball before tossing the new ball!
The Tug Procedure
When to use?
Playing tug will not make your dog aggressive. Given that you ensure he always follows the instructions and commands, then tug is an excellent inspiring game to play. You must let him to win more if you want him to love this fun game.
Get started
This technique to teach your Labrador retriever to fetch is perfect that show no attention in balls but like a game of tug and already see how to play it. Go forward and start a game of tug with his desired toy inside. Allow him win many times, then ask your dog to “Drop it,” then toss it again.
Tug to fetch
Probabilities are, he will come to get that tug. When he has it, he understands he is unable to play tug by himself; therefore, he will take it in range of your hand, ready for an one more tug. Move forward and play with your lab, repeating the previous step 10 to 20 times.
Add indication
When you are consistently getting a fetch, you can add oral clues. Say “Fetch!” the moment you toss the tug and say “Drop it” immediately he takes it back, waiting tolerantly for a drop then playing a fast game of tug before throwing again. Repeat 20 to 30 times over numerous sessions.
Take this tug game outside. Start getting him to fetch the ball, and once he carries it back, reward your dog with a tug. When he has the hang of the game, it is doubtful you will have to carry on rewarding with a tug for long, the throw of the ball will become its own reward. When you train your Lab to fetch, it will be a fun game that you can play for hours!


What if my Labrador retriever doesn’t like to fetch?

There’s a possibility your Labrador retriever just doesn’t like the toy you pick to play fetch with. Some canines are just picky like that! Before you give away on playing fetch, go for a variety of toys to see if one triggers their interest.

Do Labs like to play fetch?

It is true that some dogs love to play fetch than others. That is due to certain kinds of dog, like a Labrador, has been bred for their skill to retrieve things for humans.

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