I’d love to play more with my dog, but he doesn’t bring any toy back to me, nor does he drop it.
 
That sounds like your dog has never been taught to play fetch with you. What’s in it for him? A playful relationship is something you need to nurture. The younger your dog is the easier it will be.
I’d suggest teaching a “release” and “get it” first with several of his toys. That way he is learning and understanding that releasing and giving things (like his toys) up generates even better rewards.
Then, find a short hallway. If you have an open house layout, take your dog someplace he naturally feels comfortable and plays with toys. A distance of six feet or less will do.
 
It’s your responsibility to build trust and find a toy that your dog deems worthwhile to play this game with. At first you might want to attach a light line on the toy and/or on your dog (taking off with the toy to play keep-away is highly prohibited). 
 
Throw the chosen toy out and be prepared to love him for bringing it back to you. If he doesn’t, pull it back to you and you throw it up and have a party with the toy. Tease him with it and throw it out again. There should be almost no other place for your dog to go – your dog should go after the toy and back to you. Don’t grab at the toy as soon as your dog brings it back. Love and praise the effort for a good 20-30 seconds. 
Be emotionally happy about it. 
 
If your dog doesn't release the toy, step away from the fetching game and teach the release separately. There are several ways to gently teach your dog to release the toy. Try presenting another toy of equal or higher value. Or gently grab the toy and your dog’s collar. Simply with a light grasp hang onto both and do not pull, move or show any emotion. As soon as your dog drops the toy smile, and act really excited! Throw the toy immediately after your dog drops it. 
Stay in this small area until your dog will play fetch with you. That means your dog fetches several different toys in the small area before you gain distance and move to a more distracting area.
 
Fetch is a great game you should control. Have fun!

Nicole Martinez shared a status

Gail had great advice to help us get our fearful Uli into the car without him freaking out so much! We still have a long way to go but as least traveling got easier!

student stars

  • studentstars brewster

    OWNER: Maggie Brindell-Watt 
    I have to tell you we went to our Neighborhood Christmas Party and I was singing your praise.  Many of my neighbors that walked by our house daily commented on how well Brewster is behaving.  They were impressed when he barked at them and I can come out and tell him to be quite and he actually does listen to me.  So, in general they were just impressed at how well he is behaving for such a young dog.  So, I just wanted to say "thank you" for helping us, couldn't have done it without your help. We still have a lot of work to do but we are on the right track.

  • studentstars roux

    OWNER: Cindy Hartman  
    "Gail, thank you VERY MUCH for reviewing our runs from last weekend, your comments were very helpful! You make some great points. I appreciate your keen eye and willingness to help us become a better team! Can't wait for class on Thursday!"
    Cindy

  • studentstars rigel

    OWNER: Susan McKenzie
    Rigel (2 ½ yr old black and white retriever/hound mix) took basic manners class and Pedals (6 mo old brindle lab/pit mix) attended both the puppy and basic manners class at A Good Dog’s Life  When people visit our home, I often receive compliments on how well behaved my dogs are.  They do not try to counter surf and I can ask them to stay on their beds to get out from under foot.  I am a strong believer in challenging dogs physically and mentally and intend to take further classes at A Good Dog’s Life.  They both enjoy it.

  • studentstars elke

    OWNER: Tanya Alstott 

    I was happy with the content of the class.  I think these type of puppy class are limited in what you can expect out of your dog, mainly due to age and the inability to focus for any length of time.  Socialization was my main goal and I feel like Elke got that from the class.

  • studentstars sky

    OWNER: Peggy and Bob Dellinger 
    Gail, WE loved class today. I had read most of the book "tracking from the ground up" but boy you made lots more sense then the book!

  • studentstars franklin

    OWNER: Lisa Wester 
    You are Wonder Woman Dog Trainer. My son and I did a short session with Franklin today. Did not jump any. We did five or six meet and greets. Michael did three short walks and Franklin behaved very well letting Michael pet him.
    Hope to do a session Fri and Sun.
    Thanks so much!

  • studentstars eiko

    OWNER: Anna Ferguson, Vibrant Heart Yoga www.vibrantheartyoga.com 
    Eiko and I have had great fun learning with Gail from A Good Dog's Life. We have done classes at her wonderful facility and also some private lessons. I am always impressed by Gail's knowledge, patience and obvious love for dogs. Her training tips and handouts were crucial for great puppy training, and we really enjoyed our puppy classes. We now have a wonderfully well-behaved, intelligent dog that is our best friend! I recommend her all the time to new puppy owners to get started on the right paw!

contact us

A Good Dog's Life

33 Hidden Acres Drive
Asheville NC 28806
Office 828.667.3221