Dog Training/fetch


Hello. I have a 7 month, female, blue heeler. I am very familiar with the breed but this little girl has me stumped. She knows a handful a tricks (sit, lay, stay, roll over, load, and back up) but I can not get her to learn fetch. SO I have concluded that I must be doing something wrong because she is to intelligent not to be able to learn this trick. I need her to know this trick so that I can help her use some of that high energy these dogs are famous for. I live on an 80 acre farm so she gets a lot of exercise, but I enjoy doing this with my dogs. she has a high interest in toys. when I throw the toy in the yard she doesn't bring it back. she doesn't necessary run off either. I haven't been going to get it from her because I didn't know if that was wrong. I don't want to encourage "chase". so I wait till she loses interest and get the ball. she fetches in the house just fine brings it back and everything but out side I just cant figure it out. Any tips?

Hi Lesli!

Sounds like you're having fun training your pup other than this one little hiccup!

If she's retrieving in the house but not in the yard I'm wondering if distraction is the problem. Puppies have such short attention spans, and the yard can be so exciting! Try throwing the toy a shorter distance or having your dog on a long leash to prevent her from wandering off to investigate. Praise and reward lavishly when she returns with her toy and you'll have this down in no time!  

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Sarah Maki


I'm happy to help with all obedience and training related questions. Although I work as a trainer solving behavioral issues, I do not feel comfortable providing advice or suggestions for aggression, resource guarding, phobias or other behavioral problems without evaluating a dog in person, those are areas where I believe a personal consultation is necessary.


I have been training dogs professionally since 2008. In 2009 I graduated with honors from Animal Behavior College and have also completed their Shelter Dog Program. I teach group classes and conduct in-home training sessions.

I am an ABCD-T (Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer) and am working towards my CPDT.

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