Teaching your dog to fetch perfectly is not a difficult task to do. You just need to know how to do it consistently and properly.
There are benefits to the dog in teaching him to fetch or retrieve something. It’s a healthy activity, because it lets the dog exercise. It builds up the trust between the owner and the dog, thus improving their relationship. It also teaches the dog to do activities that don’t need food as a reward or motivator. They will see it as a fun game in and of itself.
The best way to effectively teach this behavior is to break down the tasks into small separate parts. Teach the dog to go to the object. Let them hold it, then carry it, and lastly teach them to give the object to you. Use clickers to mark and reward the dog for every small step that he has done correctly. Gradually add distance between the dog and the object. When you have accelerated the training, you can also gradually decrease the instances that you give reward only when the dog completes the behavior. You can then introduce the cue “fetch”.
Practice every part consistently. Once the dog is successful in doing each part correctly, then you can combine the parts altogether. Introduce the dog to new objects he can fetch and new environments he can do the activity. Remember that the progress of this training should be at the dog’s pace, not the owner’s or the trainer’s. Patience is always the key to successful training.