Bluerose Alaskan Malamutes
TYPES OF FETCHING
While fetching is a common activity for all dog owners, many don't realize how many different games there are as well as competitions. It is limited only to your imagination. In this section we will talk about some of these and hopefully give you some ideas to help you search for more.
Nothing is more common than throwing a ball or a stick for your dog to chase. They love the thrill of running after it and returning it for more. They will do this for hours (or until your arm falls off!!!). Why are dogs so obsessed with chasing? It is a link to their basic hunting instincts from their wolf ancestry of chasing prey and game. This instinct is also why they chase cars and why many experts tell you that if you are confronted with a vicious or aggressive dog, do not run. It triggers the chase instinct and you must back away slowly.
There are numerous objects on the market. Besides balls, sticks and Frisbees, there are different tools (called chuckers) that will fling the ball farther than you can throw making the chase all the more thrilling. Some people even use baseball bats or golf clubs to hit the ball farther.
This is a basic exercise that everyone does. Remember there are various competitions with this sport. Some include timed retrieval, some are distance, some are trick catches with flips and some are amount of Frisbees caught. We have all seen this at half time during sporting events on TV. also news coverage has been done on these events.
This is simply having them chase an object around a makeshift course. Usually it is a rag or something that flutters while moving. Simple ways are to get a long buggy whip and run with it. Just like a horse following a carrot when driving a cart. Some have elaborate pulley systems with a rag tied on the string making many sharp turns and curves. Some set up a small a obstacle course in a circle or oval. Stand in the middle with a long stick (or buggy whip) with a ball and string. Stand in the middle and have them chase it to go over the obstacles. If this sounds familiar, it has been used to train racing greyhounds and is a take on lounging (pronounced longing) a horse for training and exercise in a small circle pen.
Again limited only to your imagination. The best we found is setting up a tetherball court and playing with them. They love the attention you give them and after they get the idea they will play on their own for hours with it. Many times we look out the kitchen window and there they are jumping and punching the ball with their nose. If you can't get them interested in this, try using a beach ball. If you do this in a confined area (small room) they will be more interested in it and they will learn to bounce it off their nose and the walls where they get the advantage of it making sharp turns. This is what they enjoy. Sharp fast turns. They will realize that it will not hurt and they will not be afraid of it hitting them. If they master this, they will go for the tetherball with gusto.
Malamutes are water dogs at heart. They love to play in water (have you noticed they splash their water bowl all over???). They can't even get a drink without their foot in the bowl. Not to mention the fun they have in kiddie pools. We take ours to the lake and let them swim. Sometimes the city park opens up the pool to the dogs before they close for the season. While dock diving competitions normally see various Sheppards and retrievers, all breeds are welcome. Simply throw your ball or something that floats. They will not think twice about running off the dock and diving into the water. The competitions are more about the measured jump than the retrieval of the object.