While the other dogs are returning the frisbee after it’s been thrown by their owner, your dog catches it and runs in the opposite direction.

If you feel like those owners are laughing behind your back, you’re correct. They are howling!

But don’t give up. While some dogs seem to be natural retrievers (apparently yours isn’t), fetch is a skill that can be taught.

Your first step at getting your dog to retrieve toys is determining what she likes to play with. This could be a tennis ball, a frisbee or an item as simple as an old shoe.

When you toss the toy, make sure she watches where you’ve have tossed it. When she runs towards it and picks it up, provide positive reinforcement. After she carries for several steps, provide additional reinforcement to let her know you are proud of her.

Over time, (days, not minutes) increase the distance between you and her, encouraging her to bring the toy towards you. Enthusiastically say “Yes, Good Girl”…. then hand her a treat as positive reinforcement. She’ll eventually develop a sense of pride at being able to consistently return the toy to you, versus simply dropping it where she caught it.

At that point you’ll fit in nicely with the other owners, and they’ll stop laughing at you.

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