Playing fetch with a crafty dog

Sit, Wait, Run, Fetch, Tug
Is tough choice to fetch or tug
Donna wants do BOTH!

I made the mistake of holding my phone vertically while shooting this video —
You can see her visibly panting (tired and needing to drink) at the end of the video and getting enough of play. 

Here is the run through of the choices (which you can see in the video) she and I made as we developed our way of playing fetch through the months we’ve been together.

When it became evident that she would be half way down the corridor even before the rope was thrown, I started to consistently get her to sit and wait for the toy to be thrown. Gives me a good excuse to get her to practice responding to these cues during play.

I started teaching her drop it more to save our fingers from her teeth. She likes to tug if we reach directly to take the toy from her mouth. And sometimes when she adjusts her grip on the toy, she would accidentally hit our knuckles with her teeth. Not ideal since I don’t want to have to play tug and risk my fingers to take back the toy every single time. So drop it.

She learnt drop it very well. Unfortunately, she got it into her head that she could turn the game into tug if she persistently drop it not in our hands, not in front of us, but slightly away where the human has to reach for it. There she would hover, head over the toy, guarding it and ready to snatch it up again to initiate a game of tug.

Oh well she is quite right about that, except that, 90% of the time she responds to drop it very well. :P

Eventually when she tires, she will end the game by flopping in the middle of the hallway, nom, nom, nom on the toy as if the human does not exist any more.

This is her done with the nomming.

tired dog I have to add that her style of play with me is very different from with Mr P. She adapts to the human. I play safe. She gets a more rousing time with Mr P but My P gets his fingers nipped more often. Hah!

Welcome back! Here's my bone! Lets play! #dog

A video posted by weliveinaflat (@weliveinaflat) on

Another short video of her running after a bone :P

25 thoughts on “Playing fetch with a crafty dog

  1. Good job Donna! We use words to release our dogs so we use different words when we practice the sit stay. It is funny. The tug on the drop is a tough one. Thunder used to play that game at the hunt test with a duck. (not good) We really worked on that all last year.

    • Oooh, hadn’t thought the brown dogs would tug or want to play with the duck!! Donna will never make a hunting dog… she’ll probably get the duck, ran back halfway and drop it and wait for the human to come get it yourself!… omg She is training the human to fetch!!! D:

      What release words do you use? I’m awful at release words… never really work on release words actually :P :P guess we’re slackers haha!!

  2. I also make the dogs wait during in-the-house-fetch, but they’re allowed to get a bit more rambunctious outside (and the toys are thrown further, so the headstart doesn’t matter as much). Keeping it a bit calmer and controlled in the house means I can justify it as “training”, and ignore my mom’s nagging voice in the back of my head from childhood (“NO horseplay in the house!”).
    And it’s the same in our house, too – the Husband roughhouses with the dogs much more than I do, but it also means he gets covered in more drool :)

    • My mom accuses me of horseplay in the house too!!!! :D I hope drool is good for the skin since your husband gets covered in it… there has got to be a benefit somewhere!!

      I hadn’t talk to write about outdoors simply because I have not successfully got her to play fetch outdoors.. she prefers to sniff… or play with other dogs… or to play keep away with the ball = = as she zooms here and there. Haha!

    • :D Hmmm… we didn’t give her any awards beside play though :P I left you a comment but I think WP ate it up. I’m sorry Melvin and you got attacked by a swarm and hope you guys have recovered already!! Sounds thoroughly scary D:

  3. What a cutie! She’s really having a good time. My dogs have the same trouble with deciding what to do… fetch, chew, or tug of war. Maya likes tug-of-war best but will let go if I say. Pierson prefers chew.

  4. She is such a happy pup! Great videos Mrs. P and it’s great to hear your lovely voice as well. Looks like you and Donna enjoy this game very much. :D *big hugs*

  5. I love this video. Donna is such a good girl. I have never properly trained Gracie on basic commands (I know, I know), although she does know words like “excuse me” which means she has to make a spot for us on the sofa. She does take her games very seriously, though, and will fetch for a couple of hours each night! One day I will get a video of her at play.

    • Cool, love videos… I guess it’s really what one expects out of the relationship with their dog? If you’re happy with Gracie, its all that matters :) Training and photography gets me interested in spending time with Donna, so its quality bonding time for us :P

I love your comments! It will help me greatly if you can leave them on the actual post that this post links to so that I can have them all in one place, thanks! :)

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