The Border Terrier is an active, agile dog weighing 4.54 to 6.8 Kilogram, and is bred to chase and hunt fox alongside Foxhounds. This breed needs regular exercise, so training your terrier to fetch is a great way to exercise his body and give him the opportunity to "chase", which is what he was born to do.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Your Dog's Favorite Toy
Sit on the floor and begin interacting with your dog. Speak to him in an excited high-pitched voice to gain his attention and create excitement. Show him a ball or squeaky toy you will have him fetch. Once you have his attention, toss the toy one to two feet away from him. Say, "Fetch!" or "Get your toy!" or whatever term you choose. Just remember to stick with the same exact term each time, and keep it short. If he goes to the toy and picks it up, praise him excitedly. If he is reluctant to pick up the toy, you may have to go to it as you repeat, "Fetch!"
Pick up the toy. Place it near his mouth until he takes it from you. Lavish praise when he does. Repetition is the key to good dog training, so repeat this exercise several times. Once he gets the hang of it, toss the toy farther away, repeating Step 1. He'll be fetching in no time.
Training your dog to fetch also means teaching him to return the toy to you. Terriers are good at fetching a toy and running in the opposite direction---they can't resist a good game of "Catch me if you can." While you're training him to fetch, simultaneously teach your terrier to "Bring it here."
Work within a short distance. After your dog picks up the toy, praise him and call his name saying, "Bring it here" in an excited manner. You may have to pat the floor to get his attention. Lavish praise when he returns. If he drops the toy before he gets back to you, ignore him when he returns. Go to the toy and repeat until he brings the toy to you, and then praise him excitedly. This may require many attempts until he is sure what it is you want him to do.
Teaching your dog to release the toy once he has returned is actually the easiest part of the process, and helps to reinforce the "Bring it here" command as well. Every time your dog returns the toy to you, give the command, "Drop it." Offer him a treat, but don't give it to him until he drops the toy. Your pooch will drop the toy to take the treat. Praise him excitedly and give him the treat. Very soon, he will associate bringing the toy to you and dropping it with a reward, and you will have a dog that will happily play fetch anytime you choose.
Tips and warnings
- Dogs learn by repetition, so repeat the above steps often.
- Be sure to use the same words and actions during training to avoid confusing your dog.
- Pick a toy that your dog enjoys playing with to ensure excitement.
- Make sure the toy is the correct size for your dog. Small toys can be accidentally swallowed in the excitement.
- Pick an enclosed area and controlled environment during training to ensure safety. These steps can be performed on leash if necessary.
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