Why do dogs like to play fetch and are so obsessed with this game? We noticed this question popping up many times online o sites like Quora and others and we decided to tackle this one with an explanation.
Every do owner and specifically owners of Retrievers like Labradors and Goldens know this to be true, anything you will throw at your dog he will gladly chase down and fetch. It doesn’t even matter what it is, if you throw it, he will bring it back. So why do they do that? Keep reading to find out.
The main reasons dogs like to play fetch are:
First thing first, there are certain behaviours that come built in with dogs, they don’t learn them, they are born with them. It’s built into their DNA as canines. When talking about fetching, dogs just do it instinctively. When they hear a sound, smell something or see something from a distance, especially if it moves, they will run towards it to check it out. Most often they will catch it with their mouth, do the shake, shred it if possible and try to eat it. YUP, dogs will try to eat what you throw them, even if it’s just a toy.
With time, different breeds of dogs were trained to do different things with the fetch instinct, for example:
- Herder dogs will most likely just look at and chase the object ( animals ) they horde, usually border collies are great dogs for herding as they will not bite and shake but simply chase.
- Retrievers will chase and grab, but not kill or shake, we trained them to comeback to us with prey or anything else we throw at them to bring back.
- Terriers will do the full cycle of chase,bite,shake, kill, however they have also been trained not to shred and eat what they catch, as the owners usually want the prize for himself.
- They enjoy the extra time with their owners. Dogs love to spend time with their owners, it’s a fact, they will spend all day with you if they could. So playing fetch is just a great excuse to spend a few extra minutes of hours with the person they love the most.
by DAN WOODGER
This behaviour is self taught and reinforced, meaning dogs like to do it, they do not need to be encouraged to play fetch, a good example of this will be to think about us humans and the game of football. If you love playing football you do not need someone to pay you or encourage you to play, you just do it for fun. So it’s the same with dogs and fetch, they enjoy this activity and will do it anytime.
You know how the human brain releases a chemical that makes you feel good when you do an activity that you enjoy like sports, sex and everything else that gives you satisfaction? That chemical is called Serotonin and it triggers a good feeling in the brain of the dog so it gives him more reasons to keep playing. Similar to runners who feel the ” high ” after a few miles of running, dogs feels it too.
These were the main reasons why do dogs like to play fetch, if you think we missed something please do tell us so we could add it to the article, and also check out this post to learn why do dogs eat cat poop