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How to get your Shiba to Fetch?
  • I've been trying my hardest to get my Shiba to play fetch with me or others in my house but it seems like she takes no interest in any of the dozens of toys I have. She only likes to play with toys when my other dogs are playing with them (she tries to take them from them). Is there anything I can do to get her to play with me or anyone else in my house? I've tried to sit at eye-level with her and get her to try and take the toy from my hand or off the ground, but she shows no interest. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • What seems to be her favorite toy? My Shiba doesn't seem to fetch anything that isn't soft and plush! Silly isn't it?
    photo 6b74d441-46df-4852-af9a-1f765aea9bb0.jpg
  • What seems to be her favorite toy? My Shiba doesn't seem to fetch anything that isn't soft and plush! Silly isn't it?



    She loves this plush fox the most, I always catch her throwing it in the air late at night.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Start by just playing tug of war with the toy in question and throw it randomly. If they truly are enjoying playing with you with the toy, they will eventually bring it back to you.

    Kira never did fetch very well until we started playing tug of war. Now she's relatively consistent!
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  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1097
    She plays catch by herself? :)

    If you gently toss the toy to her (like a few inches), what does she do? Does she run away or come back? If she comes back, praise and reward, and continue. If she isn't used to interactive play, it will take a while. Gradually throw the toy farther. Always keep it fun.. If she loses interest, try something else.
  • zandrame said:

    She plays catch by herself? :)

    If you gently toss the toy to her (like a few inches), what does she do? Does she run away or come back? If she comes back, praise and reward, and continue. If she isn't used to interactive play, it will take a while. Gradually throw the toy farther. Always keep it fun.. If she loses interest, try something else.


    She does play catch by herself sometimes! And when I throw the toy she just immediately loses interest in it. I'll keep trying to get her to go and fetch it. Thank you.

  • Kira_Kira said:

    Start by just playing tug of war with the toy in question and throw it randomly. If they truly are enjoying playing with you with the toy, they will eventually bring it back to you.

    Kira never did fetch very well until we started playing tug of war. Now she's relatively consistent!


    I'll definitely try. It's hard to make her play tug of war with her because if I start to pull even a little bit, she lets go probably because she think I'm taking it from her.

  • Kiba0713Kiba0713
    Posts: 259
    This might sound silly, but are you enticing her to tug or just holding the toy out? With Kiba sometimes he'll initiate the game by coming up to us with a toy, but if I'm trying to initiate tug then I'll get the tug toy and wave it a little and hold it out so he tries to get it and ask him to play tug- our trainer taught us to kinda be like "tug tug tug" when we play, so we try to use the word when we're playing so he knows the difference between a game of tug and us trying to take something away.

    It also sounds like it could help you to have a specific toy that is meant for tug and is not left out otherwise, which is the ideal suggested way to do it anyway- we have one like that but another one that we've also used before we got the tug toy, but we dont use any others.

    If she doesnt have an interest in the 'dozens' of toys, are you rotating them at all, if something hasnt been available in a while she might get excited when it comes back.
    Post edited by Kiba0713 at 2014-02-13 06:59:47
  • For a few weeks now, every morning while I am sitting there applying my makeup, my adorable Quake has gotten into the habit of bringing me his little toy ball and having me throw it and he fetches it. It's a good way to practice the "drop it" command and "give it to Mom' command and also "fetch" plus he also has fun running and fetching the ball. He gets a 45 minute brisk walk in the morning so it's not that he is bored. I think he initiates the fetch game just to have a bonding session with me. I find it very heartwarming. Even though it means being a few minutes behind schedule for me it is totally worth it. It makes me smile to think of my little furry angel while I am at work.
  • Fen plays catch with himself too - it's adorable! He plays fetch, but it has taken us a while and he does lose interest after a dozen throws or so. I started by playing with him, then throwing the ball / toy (he likes squishy balls) then walking over to it and getting him to play with it there, then bringing it back to where we started. He doesn't like to give it back immediately - he has to run around me once and then he will stop and wait for "drop it". My daughter is the one who taught him "drop it" and she told me to always reward "drop it" with another throw - to never say "drop it" and then take the toy or stop the game, so we always give one last throw and he always gets praise and pets for dropping it. It seems to have worked for us =)

    Also agree with the rotating toys. We only keep a few of Fen's toys out, and then every couple of weeks I bring out the bag and let him pick a "new" toy, then put one of the others away. He LOVES the "new" toy and plays with it for the rest of the day! =)
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    This article popped up on my Facebook today...made me remember this thread. Pat Miller is always great, very in depth, but easy to follow.

    http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/12_9/features/Teaching-A-Dog-Fetch_16157-1.html
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • in the beginning saki had no interest in playing fetch. he would get the ball and try to tear it up. i have since taught him to play fetch but he still wants to tear the ball up after fetch is done!
    this is how i taught him to play fetch.
    i got a tennis ball and cut a small slice into it. just big enough to squeeze the ball and have a small hole. i then put a reel stinky treat in it. what i used are the salmon treats since he loves them and they smell! i let him smell the ball and i threw it. he would go get it and try to eat the treat. but he couldn't get it out of the ball. eventually he would bring the ball somewhat close to me and i would take the ball, treat him with the same kind of treat from my pocket, and throw the ball again. after a few times he realizes that if he brought the ball back to me he would get a treat. we did this a couple of times and now the reward of good boy is enough. hope that helps!

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