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Old 03-26-2005, 11:05 AM   #1
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Default How to teach my yorkie to fetch? Advice, please!

Our yorkie, Sully, learned to sit, lay down, play dead, roll over, shake, stay and dance by the time he was five months old.
Now, he is nearly 8 mo. old and only associates treats to the above-named tricks. (We pull out the treats, Sully plays 'dead dog'. It's cute, but not treat-worthy.) My husband and I REALLY want to teach him to FETCH....but need some advice on the best way to go about that!
Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2005, 11:27 AM   #2
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I think Esme was born knowing how to play fetch. She LOVES that game so much that when I say, "Esme, bring the toy," she goes and brings her yellow ball. I don't really know how she learned. It seemed we would always throw the ball and she would bring it back...
Good luck! I think you just need to keep practicing!
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Old 03-26-2005, 12:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passionfruition
Our yorkie, Sully, learned to sit, lay down, play dead, roll over, shake, stay and dance by the time he was five months old.
Now, he is nearly 8 mo. old and only associates treats to the above-named tricks. (We pull out the treats, Sully plays 'dead dog'. It's cute, but not treat-worthy.) My husband and I REALLY want to teach him to FETCH....but need some advice on the best way to go about that!
Thanks!

How awesome!!!! He learnded all that in the 1st 5 monthes!!! How did you get them to play dead and roll over??? Luigi knows to sit, stay, shake,dance and high five!!!! But he can't quite figure the others out!!!! Any suggestions????


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Old 03-26-2005, 01:53 PM   #4
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Teaching him those basic tricks were rather easy! I have never even had a dog before, let alone trained one. LOL. What I did, we started at 10 weeks old, and by the 11th week, Sully would sit and shake and lay down on command. I'd pick up his paw and say "shake" and do it over and over again until he learned the command. I tore his little treats up into tiny pieces, and gave hiim one every time I lifted his paw. Soon, I'd say "shake" and he lifted his paw on his own. Same with sit, realy, I pushed his backside down and gave hiim a treat. I also did a hand signal and voice command to go with each trick, which is normal. Anyway, "lay down" is his easiest trick, and it's been so nice that he knows that and will obey me any time I want him to lay down (while we're eating at the table or when he comes to work with me, he lays down in my desk drawer. Everyone at work loves it when I bring Sully!) Hope that helps, ttyl. Now if I can only get him to fetch!!!
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Old 03-26-2005, 06:20 PM   #5
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I appreciate the above replies. :-) However, I am really really really wanting to teach him the best I can and I'm looking for technical training advice on how to associate the treat with him playing "fetch" instead of standing in one place doing little tricks. Any ideas? What are some of the steps you took to help your Yorkie learn to fetch?
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Old 03-26-2005, 06:41 PM   #6
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Default My version of training - probably not great!

To get Tia to learn fetch. I had a pocket of cheerios with me (her favorite treat.)

I decided to start with her favorite toy (a fleece lion). I would throw it a little way, say "Go get it" and when she would go to it, I would give her a treat and use her "good" word which is "YAY!".

I kept throwing it a little farther, and she would eventually keep going to the toy. Next, I would show her the treat in my hand and tell her to "bring it back". She would come for the treat, and I would bring the toy over, show it to her, then throw it again. After a couple of times, she got the idea that bringing the toy BACK was good! Now she plays fetch with no treats at all, she loves it - it's one of her favorite games.
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Old 03-26-2005, 08:17 PM   #7
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Does your dog like to carry stuff in his mouth? Will he play with toys on his own? It will be far easier to teach "fetch" if your dog will carry stuff without having to be prompted. "Fetch" is actually a series of skills that may need to be taught seperatly (taking something, holding it, going out and getting it, returning it, and releasing it). To teach the "Fetch" you may want to teach "Take it," "Get it" and "Give it." I recommend getting your hands on a good obedience book or video such as "Competiive Obedience: A Balancing Act" or "Take A Bow Wow." Both do a great job of breaking down each of these behaviors and explaning how to teach them (sorry, but it would be another Yorkipower marthon post if I tried to explain how it's done and I've never really bothered teaching my own dogs to fetch! )
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:12 PM   #8
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Luna has always brought back the toy ever since she was 10 weeks old, her problem is LETTING go of the toy.

The trainer had suggested 2 methods of teaching her how to fetch and let go. She also mentioned that it is important to use the same toy everytime and only for teaching fetch. Meaning, put away the toy unless you're going to play fetch.

1st methods involves having 2 toys of the same value. What you do is throw the first toy, tell them go get it (usually they go get it on their own anyway), call them to bring it back, on their way back say "good" and then throw the other toy...and keep it going...like a cycle. When they bring one, throw the other. It takes some good practice. Luna really doesn't get this method too well. She's way too smart and has learned that I take the toy from her so she runs pass me before I can even say "good".

The other method may work better and actually works with Luna when she's more treat hungry lol...You use only 1 toy of great value (again putting it away so that when they see it they associate "fetch" with it). What you do is throw the toy with one hand and in the other you place a treat and leave it behind your back. When they come back with the toy you trade it with the treat and say "good". The trainer said for us to not say "good" unless they bring it directly to our hand, right there we switch and give them a treat. The problem with this method for us, is that Luna loves to go play with the toy, so she ignores the treat and keeps her eyes on the toy.

We're still trying to work on this one, after Luna recovers we're back to boot camp training... hehe

Hope this helps!
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Old 03-27-2005, 01:23 PM   #9
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My Benni can be taught a new trick in a half an hour and once learned, never forgets, Garrett is another story. Benni is one year old and does the following:

1) when I say walk, he brings me his halter and leash, I hold it open and he actually places his head in and lifts his left arm to insert for me to buckle.

2) lays down on command

3) give me "five" (ie ashakes hands)

4) will dance with me when I say "dance"

5) when I say "give me a high sign" he jumps up with both paws up.

6) he rolls over on command

7) he comes when he is called

8) he plays dead

9) when I ask him where is the cat or where is Garrett (his brother yorkie) he goes and finds them for me, looking under the bed, etc.


10) barks and "talks" to me when I look at him and asks whats the matter?

11) sits on command

Now Garrett is coming along a lot slower and he is just three weeks younger than Bengie, Garrett comes when he is called, will lay down on command, sit, and is learning to give a high five, he also will go find the cat and Bengie on command. Different things work for different animals. Bengie is highly food motivated, so treats are a big deal for him, Garrett is more into praise and that seems to work better with him. The key is finding what works with your dog, Benni will do absolutely anything for a yogurt treat.
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Old 03-27-2005, 05:36 PM   #10
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Our Yorkie, Elvis, is now 10 months old. He loves to fetch and has learned to retrieve a toy based on the toy's name. We started when he was about 12 weeks old and would introduce a new toy to him by name. Then we play fetch, we ask him to return it to us, using the toys name. At first, he would only come within a few feet of us and try to get us to chase him, but we refused. We held our hand out with a treat in it, and would give it to him when he released the toy into our hand to retrieve the treat. We would only work with him on this when he was in a playful mood, and then only for a few minutes at a time.
Now we just ask him to bring us a toy (using the toy's name) from his toy box and he is happy to do so. Be patient with your yorkie and I'm sure he'll do fine
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Old 03-27-2005, 06:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aimee
To get Tia to learn fetch. I had a pocket of cheerios with me (her favorite treat.)

I decided to start with her favorite toy (a fleece lion). I would throw it a little way, say "Go get it" and when she would go to it, I would give her a treat and use her "good" word which is "YAY!".

I kept throwing it a little farther, and she would eventually keep going to the toy. Next, I would show her the treat in my hand and tell her to "bring it back". She would come for the treat, and I would bring the toy over, show it to her, then throw it again. After a couple of times, she got the idea that bringing the toy BACK was good! Now she plays fetch with no treats at all, she loves it - it's one of her favorite games.
When I started to teach my puppies to fetch. I did almost the same thing as aimee. I got there favorite toy, got them excited about it by tugging on it and then throw it and say"Get it". And when they bring it back I would start tugging and playing again or reward them with treats. However, one of my dogs was so focus on the treats that I couldn't get her excited about fetching. In her case, we just play tug or I may have 2 of the same toy and play swap toy.

By the way, did you know there are mini size tennis ball available that is the right size for yorkies. Walmart will carry it sometimes as well as some petstore.

As for fetching in obedience. It is a little bit different than regular fetching. It is not hard to teach, if your dog already know how to fetch. But just chasing after the ball/toy and dropping at your feet will not cut it in obedience.

tips: Find a special toy/ball that the dog like and only bring it out when you are playing fetch. Start throwing at a very short distance and increase distance as you puppy is more comfortable bring it back.

Good luck and let me know how it works out.
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