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Why wont my dog play fetch?

September 17th, 2007, 01:04 PM
I have a lab mix that won't play fetch. Weird right?

Heres a typical example:

I go out into our backyard, its about 1/3 an acre, so she has lots of room to run. I pick up a tennis ball, I throw it. She sprints after it, picks it up, brings it back, lays down, and starts chewing it.

I say "leave it" pick it up, throw it again. She either does one of two things: 1) She goes after it again, this time finding it, ignoring it, and picking up the closest stick to chew on by herself. or 2) she just sits there like Im crazy, and goes to find something else to do.

If I throw sticks, frisbees, etc its the same annoying result

As a result, I cannot give her the right excercise. Apparently walks aren't good enough, and Im not in good enough shape to run 4 miles a day with her. She is also terrified of bikes/scooters/etc so thats out.

The only way I can get her to run is to play chase/chase her around, but that is apparently bad for the dominance issues that may come up.

So what can I do??

September 17th, 2007, 01:17 PM
My particular breed also doesn't like to fetch. No big deal. A couple of good walks a day helps. If the pup is afraid of bikes and skateboards, etc, that's normal. One of my past dogs was afraid of mailboxes as a pup. The more they see these things while out for their walk, the more they'll accept them. You don't need to be in great shape to go for a couple of walks, you can do them at your pace, or hire someone to walk the dog for you. My dogs have always bounced around the yard playing with large plastic flower pots, or stuff toys, or some favorite shrub of mine they've decided to dig up :laughing: Takes a lot of effort to keep a pup tired.....fetch has never been an option for me either, but a couple of walks a day and lots of time out in the yard with them works for me.


Ford Girl
September 17th, 2007, 01:24 PM
Hi, how old is your dog and how long have you been wokring on it? My golden is just now developing the skills and passion for fetch, it took about 10 months of us showing her what we wanted and lots of treats, it can't be forced or expected just cuz of the breed, they have to want to do it, regardless of the breed. Now, she's about 90% reliable at bringing it back. She's 1. We had to start in our yard and house, once she's in an open off leash field, he attention is elswhere, she is getting better at it took her months to want to swim too...we called her a Golden Doby!!! A golden who didn't like to retrieve or swim? :shrug:

For exercise we do off leash parks, doggie day care, evening play dates with other dogs, on leash walks, swimming and training (tires the mind out, sometimes just as good as physical activity), we start agility soon. :)

September 17th, 2007, 01:25 PM
We're working on playing fetch with our Mini Doxie these days. He's 9 months old, and we're having great luck, thus far, with treats everytime the ball is returned to us. We break a small cokkie treat into 5-6 pieces, about .75cm square. But our guy is also about 16 lbs.

BJ :)

September 17th, 2007, 02:48 PM
I now own a female Sheltie (have a male) and she will take a stick or ball, but drops it right away and could care less. My male Scout will retrieve a toy or ball and drop it on command but could also care less about chasing it. I have been training my female Sugar in agility. Right now we are going through the tube and she's loves to jump. We happened to have a large plastic long tube that Scout runs into and Sugar very quickly learned to follow him into the black "hole." We have a sailboat mast across a bench and I got her to jump over it so I am in the market to purchase a jump kit for her and saw one on line. That's now her job and believe me she wears herself out with jumping over that mast time and time again as long as I say "over." :D Here is one website for the jump kit. So find out what your dog likes to do and make that his exercise. Good luck.

September 17th, 2007, 03:14 PM
sorry! i didnt meant o give the impression that walks werent good enough! i meant to say that maybe something more mentally stimulating (along with physical as an added bonus) would help her little issues.

also, some dogs take longer. just have patience, she will come around. the fact that she is bringing it back once at least is good. are you fetching before she eats? making sure she is hungry helps to motivate when treats are involved. :)

i remember Mister use to chew on his balls too but i cant remember what we did about it. i think we just kept giving treats for him placing the ball IN MY HAND. what helps that is to have the treat IN the hand you want her putting it in so she has to bring it to that hand, sniff for the treat, you snatch the ball out of her hand, she thinks you are feeding the treat to her and you get the ball, she gets the treat! i think that was it.


September 17th, 2007, 03:32 PM
I have two Goldens, one of which has not read the "I am a Golden Retriever" book - Bobby will not play fetch - he just doesn't see the point. He also doesn't care much for swimming but I did find a trigger for him - brocolli. He will swim and fetch brocolli for as long as I will throw it in the ocean! His treat is to eat it when we're done.

Maybe your dog has a specific trigger too?

My second Golden, Amber, will not stop fetching and will not stop swimming - and she just started doing these without any coaching or prompting.

It just goes to show that each dog, regardless of breed, is as individual and unique as we are!

September 17th, 2007, 09:49 PM
My Eskimo will chase (usually) the ball but won't bring it back. Or his other fun thing to do is to gather his toys on "our" bed and knock them to the floor and wait bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for us to pick them up for him. Guess he feels we need our exercise.

Only one of our mini Dachshunds would ever play with a toy and he was ball obsessed. No chasing or playing fetch - just chewing to hear the squeak. Occasionally one of our Alpha guys would give a ball a gentle nudge to try and please us. (Probably just as well with a Dachshund though - my guys had no fear of heights when it came to counters etc. and hauling themselves up using chair s- so I figure they would leap into air after a ball or frisbee if so inclined - this after back surgery.

September 17th, 2007, 10:00 PM
:laughing::laughing::laughing: broccoli... :laughing::laughing: doesnt it stink when he starts farting?? of all the things Mister can eat, broccoli gives him the worse ever gas!!


September 17th, 2007, 10:08 PM
:laughing::laughing::laughing: broccoli... :laughing::laughing: doesnt it stink when he starts farting?? of all the things Mister can eat, broccoli gives him the worse ever gas!!


Nope - no gas with broccoli. Cucumber is the only other thing he will swim for and bring back - and eat - and that gives him gas! Whooeee, does it give him gas - so I stick to brocolli :D