The first time we did fetch at dog training classes, almost all the other dogs ran after their toys and most of them brought them back. When it was our turn my biped waved my toy about and then threw it and said, “Fetch!” I sat and looked at her. She repeated, “Fetch!” I put my head on one side and remained where I was. The trainer soon decided it was the turn of the next dog and my biped had to go and get my toy herself.
My biped asked the trainer for some tips on how to get me to fetch more reliably. She explained that we worked on it at home and that I would sometimes do it, but I’d only ever do it once. You’d think she’d be pleased that I do it at all!
The trainer said, “Choose one of her favourite toys and don’t let her play with it, except for special games with you. Bring it with you next week and we’ll soon have her fetching reliably!”
The next week arrived and we took my favourite rope tug toy with us. We all did some work and then the trainer said, “It’s time to work on Clowie’s fetch now! Pick up her special toy and take her into the middle of the hall, get her to sit and then remove her lead. Play with her toy until she gets really excited and tries to take it from you – that’s when you throw it and ask her to fetch.”
Once she’d removed my lead, my biped started throwing my toy into the air. I sat and watched. She started jumping and making silly noises. I sat and watched. She started running around me, still throwing the toy into the air and making noises. I sat and watched.
The trainer asked another biped to join in the game. Someone held her dog and she came and started to play catch with my biped. They were running around and having lots of fun! I settled myself down in a more comfortable position with my head on my paws. It was lovely to watch the bipeds playing!
The trainer asked yet another biped to join in the game. They started throwing my toy across me and they sounded really excited. It was getting exhausting watching them! I flopped over onto my side, so that I could take a nap. The trainer decided that the bipeds had played for long enough.
The trainer told my biped that we needed to work hard on my fetch in the week. My biped asked her if she had any other ideas on how to make me more enthusiastic about it. The trainer said to keep trying to make a toy really exciting and I would decide to fetch it. She was wrong about that!
I still don’t understand why some dogs encourage their bipeds to think fetch is lots of fun. I see dogs running and getting the toy again and again. I will sometimes fetch something for my bipeds once, when I really want to please them. But I have no intention of making a habit of it! Do you like to play fetch?
See you next Wednesday!