Other than eating, cuddling, running around and being the center of attention, the next most common thing dogs are seen doing is playing a game of fetch. It is a common sight in parks and gardens, where an excited Doggo is seen running around looking for a ball, stick or possibly any item you threw at it. But why do dogs enjoy this so much? Keep reading to find out.
It’s a Dog’s Instinct
Most dogs are particularly bred to fetch certain items for their human friends. So, dogs naturally have a built-in disposition to chase after things, pick it up in their mouth and bring it back to their owners.
This instinct has been an ingrained part of a dog for tens of thousands of years. At least 15000 years ago, humans began domesticating Canis familiaris (which is the domestic dog to people now), where they trained the dogs to help in hunting and collecting food for the family. The dogs that were able to perform the tasks well were selected for breeding. The new puppies would further pass down the same skill set through the family tree.
While dogs don’t have the same purpose now, your furry friend would still have inherited those traits of retrieving things from its ancestors. And obviously, retrieving and chasing are two crucial components for a fun game of fetch!
Fetch is a good feeling for your dog!
All credit to the inbuilt disposition for retrieving and chasing, most dogs get quickly hooked onto fetch when first introduced to the game like it is something they have known and done for a long time.
Therefore, while playing fetch with your dog, you will notice the amount of joy they experience because they are able to show off their ingrained skills and capabilities. Owners should simply let their dogs do what they do best at when they play fetch.
The author of ‘A Guide to Living with and Training a Fearful Dog’, Debbie Jacobs wrote about fetch in 2012 and said, “All of these behaviors are self-reinforcing, meaning they make the dog feel good. They don’t need to be rewarded for the behavior. If you like playing football, you play football even if you don’t get paid to do it. It just feels good to do it. Same is true for dogs.”
Different from behavioral training where the dogs start afresh without any skill or knowledge on how to respond to the commands, fetch is way of practicing their skills and receiving appreciation while doing it.
Also, it is a great exercise for your dog and like humans their brain also releases the feel-good hormone, Serotonin, while they are involved in this game. This makes them feel happy and encourages them to continue fetching!
Quality Time for You and Your Fluffy Friend
Finally, above all is the fact that fetch allows you to spend some quality time with your fluffy doggo. Engaging in extended play time with their owner as they run after sticks and Frisbees is really a dream come true for your pet.
Unlike other games, fetch also requires less effort from your side, so you can playfully enjoy with your dog for as much time as you like until it gets tired. Fetch is an interactive dog game that increases the bond between dogs and humans. Usually fetch is played in the park, so you could combine this active, fun game with a long walk, or add in some extra exercises if your dog wants more!