A Game for Dogs Who Just Don’t Want to Play Fetch

Have you tried playing fetch with your dog, but he just doesn’t seem interested in returning the toy? We have just the game for your pup! Next time your canine companion is in the mood to play, try the “Chase Game.”

Reblogged from the Center for Shelter Dogs – a program of the Animal Rescue League of Boston

GOAL: To play a game with the dog which incorporates fun, training, and exercise.


You are the source of fun! Play energetically with your dog with the chase toy (lunge whip or tether with a lightweight stuffed toy tied to the end like this one from KONG). The dog should never make mouth contact with your hands or other body parts, must always drop the toy when asked, and must not ‘take’ the toy until the cue is given. Breaking the rules results in a temporary end to the game (and fun), for a minimum of one minute. Put the toy out of reach of the dog, and ignore the dog during the break.

1. Say ‘take it’ and then begin flinging and moving the toy around so that your dog can jump
at, chase, and attempt to catch the toy.
2. After some running, leaping, and chasing, allow the dog to catch the toy.
3. Cue the dog to ‘drop it’.
4. If the dog won’t release the chase toy, try:
– Putting a tasty treat right in front of the dog’s nose
– Tossing several treats onto the ground
– Squeaking a squeaky toy (which is kept in your pocket for this purpose)
– Dropping the chase toy
5. When the dog releases the toy, give the dog a treat and immediately encourage the dog to
‘take it’ again!

Download the Chase Game PDF

Reminder: October is Adopt-A-Dog Month! Here at the ARL we have many extraordinary dogs waiting for loving homes. Search our adoptable dogs now.