How to Train a Dog to Fetch a Newspaper

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Training your dog to fetch the daily newspaper is not really difficult, as long as she is big enough to carry a newspaper in her mouth, that is. Some dogs are natural fetchers and carriers, and some will never want to do this. If your dog likes playing fetch, you can teach her to bring in the paper.

Things You'll Need

  • newspaper
  • treats

How to Train a Dog to Fetch a Newspaper

Start by throwing a newspaper for your dog to fetch and bring back to you. Every time she gives you the newspaper, big party, lots of rewards and perhaps an extra good treat. Make sure the newspaper is in the same form it arrives at your house - folded, rolled, or bagged. Just do this in the house to start out with.

Throw the newspaper outside to the exact spot where you want her to fetch it. You probably don't want your dog to go beyond your unfenced front yard to fetch the newspaper. If the yard is fenced, ask the paper delivery person to throw it inside your fenced yard. Stay inside the house and throw the paper for your dog. Big reward when she brings it inside to you.

Use a special command word for her that tells her to go get the paper. Use this every time you throw the paper and don't use it for retrieving anything else, such as tennis balls or toys. You want her to associate the word with the paper only. Make this a big game for her.

Keep her in the house while you go outside and put the paper in the yard where she can easily find it. Then let her out and tell her to get the paper. You have just changed the rules by not throwing it for her. Now she has to go out by herself and find it. She may be unsure at first. You may have to go a little ways outside with her and show her what you want.

Start hiding the newspaper outside once she's got the hang of going out and getting it. Make it easy for her to find at first, and work up to being a bit challenging. Always remember this is a game you are playing with your dog. You want her to have fun with this so don't take it too seriously and don't get frustrated if it takes her a while to learn this new game.

Use the same command word for getting the paper at all times. As soon as she understands the game and is reliably trained to get the newspaper from outside, start sending her out to do it for real when your paper is delivered. You now have a dog who is trained to go out and fetch the newspaper!

Tips & Warnings

  • Give your newspaper carrier a nice tip if you ask him to throw the newspaper in a special place, such in your back yard, and he does.
  • If your dog simply doesn't enjoy playing fetch and is unwilling to learn, don't force the issue and find something else for her to do that uses her unique talents.

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