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Why Do Dogs Love Fetch?

Petmate Academy

December 21, 2021

Fetch is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you're thinking about games to play with your dog. After all, it is a popular game, easy to play, and one that can be played repeatedly.

Why Do Dogs Love To Play Fetch?

There are a few reasons why dogs love playing fetch. The first reason has to do with a dog's natural instincts. A dog's wild ancestors (such as wolves) would catch and bring back a successful hunt to their families. Dogs were then domesticated to help humans hunt and retrieve what they caught.

Selective breeding may explain why some breeds of dogs may enjoy fetching more than others. Traits conducive to hunting and retrieving have been purposefully bred and passed down through generations of breeds such as Labradors.

Brain chemistry plays an important role in dogs' love of fetch. Very similar to how humans feel a "runner's high," playing fetch is a form of exercise that triggers endorphins and other feel-good chemicals that boost your pup's mood. Additionally, a dog will find it rewarding to successfully hunt down a toy and bring it back to you, especially if they receive some praise and back scratches.

Playing fetch also facilitates bonding between the two of you. Because it requires both of you to play, it's a good way to get some quality time together and rely on each other to keep the game going.

Last but not least, fetch is simply a fun game! It's a way for a dog to have a little bit of entertainment, and if you're playing outside, it's a good way for them to get some fresh air as well.

Benefits of Playing Fetch

a lady and her dog playing fetch in a field


There are many benefits to playing fetch with your dog. Most of them apply to your dog, but several apply to you as well! Here are a few reasons why regular games of fetch are some of the best ways to spend time with your pup:

1. It Provides Your Dog Both Mental Stimulation & Physical Exercise

It's important for your dog to have daily exercise. Playing games like fetch can be a fun way to vary it up and ensure that your dog stays mentally stimulated as well. Dogs, just like humans, can easily become bored and restless if they don't find ways to stay entertained. A game like fetch, then, is a great way to keep them mentally alert and active. However, it's important to remember that games of fetch shouldn't be used as substitutes for daily walks.

2. It Can Help Improve Your Dog's Behavior

Exercise and mental stimulation are both great mood boosters. Whether your dog is feeling down and lonely or he has behavior issues, fetch can be a great way to distract them and get them up and moving.

3. It Strengthens You & Your Dogs Relationship

As mentioned earlier, playing fetch is a great way to develop or strengthen the bond between you and your dog. This is important in any stage of a dog's life, but especially if you are working to train them or if your dog is still getting used to you. Bonding activities are also helpful for dogs who might be alone or away from you often. Playing fetch can help your dog to better trust you, which can reduce behavioral issues.

4. It Helps Relieve a Dog's Anxiety

If you have a dog that tends to feel anxious, fetch can be a good way for them to calm down. Movement and exercise are good for mental health, and playing fetch provides them with a game that they can focus on rather than reacting anxiously to their surroundings.

5. It's a Good Break For You, Too

After a long day of work or other monotonous activities, getting outside and playing fetch with your dog can be a great way to unwind with your dog. It's a great way to spend time away from screens and focus on your pet instead.


Consider picking out a new fetch toy if you're thinking about playing with your dog more often! From balls to discs, there are many fun options available so you can mix up your routine and keep things exciting.

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