When humans were first domesticating dogs, one of their main jobs was to aid in hunting and retrieving food. Some pups were better at this than others, and those who excelled would have been bred to keep the trait around.
Why do dogs enjoy fetch so much?
Fetch Makes Dogs Feel Good. Thanks to this inbuilt disposition for chasing and retrieving, many dogs are likely to get hooked quickly when they’re first introduced to fetch as it’s something that they’re already naturally good at. … We’re simply letting our dogs do what they do best when we play fetch.
Is playing fetch good for dogs?
Fetch has so many positive aspects. It’s a great bonding activity with your dog. It’s good exercise. And it can actually enhance your dog’s behavior because it releases pent up energy that could otherwise be used destructively.
Should dogs play fetch everyday?
Exercise that amps your dog up is okay in moderation but allowing your dog to engage in it every day will likely do more harm than good. This is highly individual but is most commonly seen with ball or Frisbee-obsessed dogs playing fetch every day.”
Do dogs get bored of fetch?
“Dogs, just like people, repeat what they enjoy and what makes them feel good and happy,” says White. Some dogs might lose interest in fetch because they’re not getting enough positive reinforcement or enjoyment out of the activity.
The first reason harks back to the dogs oldest relative: the wolf. Experts have noted that wolves had an instinctive urge to carry their successfully-hunted prey back to their families. It follows, then, that this natural canine behaviour is something that has stayed with our four-legged friends even though pet dogs have long since been domesticated.
So although its unlikely you send out your dog to catch and bring home dinner for the family, he or she is still tapping into the inherited urge to fetch passed on by their ancestors. Perhaps theres another final reason why dogs simply love a good game of fetch its FUN!
Others even have real animal fur incorporated to tap into that instinctive hunting urge we talked about earlier.
Many dogs, including Labradors, were specifically bred to retrieve certain items for their human owners. Even now, that means that many dogs still have this ingrained disposition to chase after objects, pick it up in their mouth and bring it back to you.
While its unlikely that your family sends your Lab out hunting for food like we did in the past, your pup will still have inherited some of the retrieving skills passed down by their ancestors. Additionally, its a great form of exercise for your Lab and just like with humans their brain will release a dose of feel-good hormone Serotonin while they exert themselves.
Unlike games of tug-of-war or even training, fetch requires less energy from you, the human, so you can playfully engage with your Lab for as long as you like and until they get tired.
It’s a Doggy Instinct to Fetch
Many dogs, including Labradors, were specifically bred to retrieve certain items for their human owners. Even now, that means that many dogs still have this ingrained disposition to chase after objects, pick it up in their mouth and bring it back to you.This feature has been an ingrained part of being a dog for literally tens of thousands of years. Humans first set about domesticating canis familiaris (that’s a family dog to you and me) at least 15,000 years ago, where they were trained to help hunt and retrieve food for the human family.The dogs that were good at these retrieving tasks were the dogs who were picked out to breed and pass down their skills to their puppies. Those puppies would then pass their inherited skills down through their family tree.While it’s unlikely that your family sends your Lab out hunting for food like we did in the past, your pup will still have inherited some of the retrieving skills passed down by their ancestors. And, of course, chasing and retrieving are two of the components of a successful game of fetch!
Fetch Makes Dogs Feel Good
Thanks to this inbuilt disposition for chasing and retrieving, many dogs are likely to get hooked quickly when they’re first introduced to fetch as it’s something that they’re already naturally good at.So, when you play fetch with your dog and you notice how much they’re enjoying themselves, that’s because they’re able to show off their ingrained capabilities. We’re simply letting our dogs do what they do best when we play fetch.Debbie Jacobs, the author of A Guide to Living with and Training a Fearful Dog, wrote about fetch back in 2012 that, “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.”Unlike behavioral training, say, where most dogs will start without any knowledge or skill on how to respond to your commands, fetch allows them to flex their skills and be praised while doing it.Additionally, it’s a great form of exercise for your Lab and – just like with humans – their brain will release a dose of feel-good hormone Serotonin while they exert themselves. This makes them feel good and will naturally encourage them to keep playing.