Dogs & Cats

Train Your Dog to Go Fetch

On TV, I''ve seen dogs fetch sodas from the fridge for their owners. How can I train my dog to do th...

No matter how complicated, most dog tricks become teachable if you think of them in terms of a series of steps preceded by other basic training. In her book 101 Dog Tricks, Kyra Sundance does a great job of explaining how to teach your dog this soda-fetching trick. Here is an overview of the steps:

1. Tie a dishtowel to your refrigerator door handle.

2. Play with your dog, encouraging him to pull on the towel, which then opens the fridge door. Make sure that your dog keeps all four paws on the ground as he pulls.

3. Now, take a break for another game. This time, empty a drink can and have your dog play fetch with it. As Sundance notes, it helps to place a foam can insulator around the drink, giving your dog something easier to grasp. It’s important to get your dog to associate the word “fetch” with this beverage can.

4. Place a full soda can (again, ideally with a foam insulator around it) in your fridge right at the front, so your dog can quickly see and retrieve it.

5. Close the door and play the towel game again, this time adding the “Fetch drink” component.

6. Train your dog to close the door after he gets the drink. A visual cue, such as you tapping on the front of the door, can help him understand the goal.

With some practice, you may now be able to sit in an easy chair, give the command “Fetch soda,” and then enjoy your cool drink while praising your dog for its cleverness.



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