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Why Do Dogs like To Play Fetch? Everything You Need To Know


Why Do Dogs like To Play Fetch? Everything You Need To Know

Dog Running and fetching ball

Image source: pexels

Whether it's a ball, a favorite plush toy, or just an old stick you found in the backyard, dogs just love to play fetch. This game can furnish hours of entertainment and fun for you and your dog. Naturally, it is also a great way to exercise while having a fun bonding time. The game of fetch is so ingrained in the collective experience and consciousness that it is taken for granted. However, the odds are good you've never asked yourself the question: why do dogs like to play fetch?'

​So, why do dogs like to play fetch? Is it something all dogs do? Are there known reasons for this behavior, or is it just one of the world's mysteries we're not meant to know the answer to? Stick around, and we'll answer all these questions and more, including the question of the day: why do dogs like to play fetch?

Do All Dogs Fetch?

Dogs Fetch

​​Image source: ​pixabay

While fetching and retrieving are hard-wired into dog-kind from the very origins of the biological family Canidae, not all dogs fetch. Dogs and the larger category of canine animals have been bringing things back for a very long time. That said, some dogs just don't understand or like fetch. It could be the breed or just the dog's natural tendency.

This trend runs across particular breeds. Take terriers, for example. Terriers are brilliant at running to the fetched object, be it a toy, a stick, or a ball; they can get a firm hold and bring it straight back to you—but that's where the game ends. The dog puts a death grip on it, and you are not getting it back.

As a breed, terriers are a seek-and-destroy dog. Unlike their retriever cousins who were bred to have a soft mouth (a gentle grip on the fetched object and an easy release into a person's hand), the terrier was trained to kill pests. So, it is little surprise that many terriers are not interested in giving back the thing they were supposed to put to death. It is a matter of instinctual inclination. You might have to change the game up with a terrier if you want her to like and feel comfortable with it.

Sometimes, it is as simple as an individual dog's personality; she either gets it or she doesn't. It is not unlike people, all of which have a general concept of music, dance, or song. But there is a dividing line, because not every human can perform at the same level in these areas, nor will they have the same interest level in such skills.

Benefits Of Playing Fetch

​The benefits of this game can't be overstated. Besides the fact that many dogs just love it, there are plenty of other reasons to take him out for a game of fetch. Some of these include exercise, animal-human bonding, positive behavior modification, and canine instinct.


Human-Dog Bonding

Improved Behavior

Tapping Into The Dog's Instincts

Why Do Dogs Like To Play Fetch?

Two Dogs Playing

​​​Image source: ​pixabay

​Fetching is fun for dogs, overall. There are some dogs that have both the instinctual and domestication for the game. For example, retrievers are so named because this was their historical task when hunting with people. Retrievers are still used for game retrieval to this day. Herding dogs like German Shepherds were also trained to return things. So, the action of bringing or returning something to their human is very satisfying to dogs.

A Dog's High Energy

A Dog's Sense Of Responsibility

Engaging The Animal's Senses

The Chemical Response


​​​​​​​​​​When asking, 'why do dogs like to play fetch?', you have to keep in mind that you have an animal with high energy, strong teeth, and an uncanny sense of smell. Both habituation and biological design have geared them up to find and retrieve things.

Your dog will completely invest themselves in the game of fetch. Everything that she is by design gets put to use in the game of fetch. Canines satisfy so many needs and biological traits in a simple game.

Their very family's history required the ability to perform this task as a means of survival. It meant tracking down their prey, chasing their prey, and returning a portion of it to other pack members. Now it is just fun recreational time shared between a human and pet.



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