Opt for a lightweight, easy-to-grip ball that your dog can carry comfortably. Avoid hard or heavy balls that could harm their teeth.
Begin in a distraction-free area. Show the ball to your dog, use enticing words, and gently toss it a short distance.
Teach your dog the "come" command. When they pick up the ball, use the command and encourage them to bring it back to you.
Praise and reward your dog each time they bring back the ball. Use treats or their favorite toy as motivation.
Slowly increase the distance of throws, rewarding successful retrieves. Maintain enthusiasm and patience to keep your dog engaged.
Teach your dog to release the ball on command. Use "drop it" and reward them when they let go of the ball willingly.
Practice fetch regularly, reinforcing the commands and rewarding desired behavior. Consistency is key to turning fetch into a reliable skill.