My dog Walt

Walt chilling–but don’t let his relaxed pose fool you. He is something else.

Oh my goodness, have I told you about Walt? Walt is something else. He is a one-year-old pup that we have had for about three months. We got him from a shelter, where he was found as a stray. When we took him home he was underweight and sick and just scared of everything. Now, he is a healthy weight, a healthy dog, and he is still scared of everything. But he also wants to be the boss of everything. So scared and bossy. Not the happiest combination of traits in a dog.

But he has come a long way. He can sit when we say sit. He can come when we say come. But he still sometimes pees in the house. And he destroyed his bed! And he can make guests feel unwelcome. He is–like the rest of us–a work in progress.

But do you know what he did today that he just loved? He learned fetch! Here is how you teach your dog fetch.

  1. Get TWO (or more) tennis balls.
  2. Bounce one ball high and let your dog run after it.
  3. When he comes back with the ball and is really close to you but still running bounce high the other ball. He will be so excited that he will drop the one in his mouth and start after the first ball.
  4. Just keep doing this until he realizes that the game is to bring the ball back, not to keep it away.

Here is what I love about fetch: It will tire an energetic dog like Walt out, and when an energetic dog is tired, he doesn’t worry so much about being bossy or even afraid.

Thanks to Marsha Perloff at Devil Dog Ranch for teaching us this great activity.