iFetch Training - Time for a Refresher! - iFetch Dog Toys - Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Skip to main content

It’s time to train! Winter is a great time to review some training tips for your iFetch and iFetch Too when you’re stuck inside and your pup is ready for play. Whether you’re helping your pup train to use his new toy from Santa, or you’re dusting off the iFetch once again for some indoor exercise, it’s never too late to train. Remember: training is bonding. Your pups love having your undivided attention, and they’re eager to please their favorite person in the world – YOU.

We recommend having some tasty treats on hand – we like smaller ones for training so your dog doesn’t overdo it on calories. And we like ones that don’t crumble, so there’s less distraction for your pup and less mess for you.

Keep in mind that we have A LOT of training resources available on our goifetch.com website to help you and your pup become iFetch pros! Be sure to post your training journey on Instagram or Facebook and tag us @goifetch, so we can share it with our followers and cheer you on too!

Here is a link to our full original training video with lots of tips to get your dog dropping and fetching in no time.

If you’d rather digest our training tips in steps, here’s a few shorter ones to follow:

Step 1: Introducing the “Drop it!” Command

The first thing you’ll want to teach your dog is “drop it”, which should prompt your dog to instantly drop the ball from his or her mouth. Note: this command is important beyond working with the iFetch. If your dog picks up something that is dangerous like a splintered stick, bug, or food wrapper, the “drop it” command can literally be a lifesaver. If you haven’t taught your dog to “drop it”, we’ve got you covered. Check out these videos to help you achieve or improve their dropping skills.

Mastering the drop command with treats:

Step 2: Reinforcing the “Drop it” command without treats

Once your dog is dropping the ball when you give the command and a treat, continue training with the command but using a treat as a reward now and then, not every time.

Here’s a video with our professional dog trainer, Nicole, to show you the way:

Note: If your dog isn’t already ball-obsessed, and you’re struggling to get him to pick up the ball, check out this blog for some suggestions.

Step 3: “Drop it!” into the iFetch

Once your dog can drop the ball on command, it’s time to try it with the iFetch. Check out this video for using the drop command (and a few treats) with the iFetch launcher:

If your dog is struggling, confused, or nervous to drop the ball into the top of the iFetch or iFetch Too toy, try practicing with a bowl first. When your dog brings you the ball, put the bowl right in front of you and point as you say “drop it”. Then, keep moving the bowl closer to the iFetch until it is directly over the top of the iFetch or iFetch Too toy. We’ve seen customers cut out the bottom of a plastic bowl so that the ball funnels into the iFetch and their pup gets rewarded with the ball launching!

The important thing is that once your pup associates dropping the ball with the ball launching from the iFetch, you’re there. Then, all they need is more reassurance to drop the ball into the top of the toy instead of the bowl. (And you can now put the bowl back into your cupboard – unless you cut the hole in the bottom, of course. Ha!)

Some iFetch pet parents even made the funnel larger to help their pup reach the goal! Check out the video here.

Need more training help?

Some pups may be nervous about the sound the iFetch motor makes. That’s ok. After all, it’s something new and strange in their house. But don’t worry, we have a blog with tips to help your dogs overcome their fear and become an i-Fetching machine in no time. 

Some pups get so excited, they want to stand right in front of the iFetch launcher. This is understandable, but your dog could get hurt if the ball hits them in the eye. Teach your dog to drop the ball and stand behind the iFetch when you’re training them. Many dogs will naturally start to run to catch the ball as soon as the ball drops out of their mouths. But if your pup isn’t running away or standing behind it, consider putting something in front of the iFetch, like a chair. We love seeing creative ways users do this. Check these Instagram videos out for some ideas from our fans.

If you want more specific tips on teaching your dog to “mark” or “stay” in a safe spot while the ball launchers, check out this blog.

Some dogs just aren’t treat-motivated when it comes to training. Treats definitely aren’t required when training your pup to use the iFetch, so we have another blog on how to train without food.

Time for some extra balls? Or interested in accessories? We sell balls, chargers, and apparel on our iFetch website. Note: the iFetch and iFetch Too use different chargers, so make sure you’re getting the right one.

Have a digger? We didn’t forget about you! Check out one of our other enrichment toys – the iDig. Here’s a blog of tips for getting your dog started with that toy too.

Many thanks for being an iFetch customer! We are so grateful for your purchase. We hope this training strengthens the bond you have with your dog even more. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to email us at support@goifetch.com. Happy fetching (and digging)!

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