Despite the popularity of fetch, it’s not always easy to get cooperation from our canines. There are four basic steps to teaching your dog to play this game, as well as ways to address challenges, including dogs who want you do to the fetching, dogs who prefer keep-away, dogs who won’t drop the ball, and dogs who get so excited that they jump on and nip you.

The game of fetch wins the prize as the ultimate good-for-us, good-for-them activity. It gives dogs exercise without humans having to work up a sweat and is a great way to teach dogs the crucial skill of dropping an object on cue. Since it’s fun and interactive, it enhances the relationship between people and dogs.

A few dogs are really good at fetch (and some will even play it by themselves). All you have to do is find a likely object—a ball, a stick, a pine cone—throw it and enjoy the fun of a good game with your dog….

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