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.

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. If you have one of these dogs, you can give her lots of exercise and she will, quite literally, consider you the best game in town. For the rest of us, there are ways to teach a dog to fetch so that you can both enjoy playing it.

The Basics, Step by Step

To make it as likely as possible for your dog to take an interest…

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