March 4, 2021

How To Spice Up Your Game Of Fetch

by Steffi Trott


Is your dog a true “ball junkie” who will fetch for hours and hours? Playing fetch is a fantastic way to bond with and exercise your dog. Even a few minutes of an intense game of fetch will tire out your dog and make him very happy!


If your game of playing ball is the same old every time though, it can get a bit boring. Here are some ideas on how to make playing fetch new and exciting!


Tricks And Train


Ask your dog to perform a trick before every throw of the ball. This can be a sit, a down, or a fun new behavior such as spinning left or right.


At first your dog might stare at you with a blank look on his face – he is asking why he all of a sudden needs to work for his game of fetch! You can use a treat to lure him in the beginning if he really struggles to think and work in the presence of his ball.

Soon he will understand the tricks as a new part of the fetch game and enthusiastically participate. As he progresses, you can even build up little trick routines.



Stop And Stay


If you have taught your dog to do a sit stay, ask him to do it before you throw the ball. You want to start out slowly so that he can be successful. “Impulse control” – this is what dog trainers call the ability of the dog to not act impulsively and chase the ball, but listen to our stay command – needs to be built up gradually.


Start out with having your dog do a sit stay and you bend down and put the ball on the ground. If he stays, you can make it a little harder: Let the ball drop on the ground from about the level of your knee. Then you let it drop from the level of your hip, and your elbow – until finally you throw it just a foot or two in front of you.


See if you can work up to your dog staying while you throw the ball as far as you can and only chasing it once you tell him he is allowed to. This training will not only improve his sit stay around balls, but also carry over as improved impulse control into other areas of life, such as not stealing food, not jumping up at people for toys etc.


Fetch My Phone

Well, you might not actually want to let your dog fetch your phone (teeth and slobber might not be the best for it!), but fetching does not always have to be limited to balls. Ask your dog to fetch other items such as a plastic cup, a little cloth, an old shoe or the newspaper. Having to retrieve novel items will keep his brain engaged and his mind working.


Remember The Room


Enjoy these new fetching ideas! If your dog struggles to play fetch and return his ball to you, our fetch online class ( can help you get the retrieve you are dreaming of.



Steffi Trott is a professional dog trainer from
Albuquerque, NM. 
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