How To Train German Shorthaired Pointer To Fetch

German Shorthaired Pointers are athletic animals and love playing around. First bred as hunting animals, they have the instinct to hunt and fetch the prey. These days, this domesticated dog is mainly confined to the four walls of an apartment.

Do German Shorthaired Pointers know how to Fetch? The short answer is yes, and they can fetch. With a little training, you can start playing with your dog in no time.

Read ahead to know how to train your German Shorthaired Pointer to fetch.

  • How do you train a German Shorthaired Pointer to Fetch?
  • Are German Shorthaired Pointers hard to train?
  • How old should a dog be to teach to fetch?
  • How do you stimulate a German Shorthaired Pointer?

How do you train a German Shorthaired Pointer to fetch?

Dogs are capable of learning at a very young age, and they like pleasing others. Keep your training lessons short and designed for specific behaviors which can easily build upon one another.

There are a few different ways you can train your dog to fetch. You can try both the methods and stick with the one your dog likes best or performs better on.

Reward-based system

Provide them with affection, rewards, or playtime to get them to perform a task. You can use affection, treats, or play. 

At first, spend a little time playing with the item you want them to fetch. Make them feel excited to play with it. Then, you can throw it at a nearby distance. 

Encourage your dog to go after whatever it is you want him to retrieve by telling them. Start by praising your pup when he picks up his object. When he runs after, it rewards him.

The second task is to make them return with the item you made them fetch. Many dogs struggle at this point, and the key to remember is to motivate your dog with positive reinforcement. 

When they grab it, and it comes back in their mouth, reward them with yet another treat or attention as necessary. 

The next step is to make them let go of the item or give it to you. When your dog drops it, give them their motivator of choice right away and then take away the item before rewarding your pup again. 

Go on doing this a few times in a row until you have their complete attention before tossing an object. Repeat this step daily until you can throw an object out there and get your pet to go after it without the motivators.

Ball on a string method

For this method, you require some yarn and a tennis ball. Puncture holes on both sides of the ball so you can pass the yarn through it. Tie a knot at the end to secure it. 

Attach the rope to the ball and let it sit on the ground with the dog nearby. Get their attention by tugging on the string (no quick movements, just slow, steady tugs) so that the dog is inspired to approach and investigate further. 

When they start to bite at it, praise them in a happy voice and give them a treat. Repeat this step by doing this many more times and varying your frequency of rewards – some days give one reward, some days give two, three, and so forth.

You want to establish a positive connection with them in the future and play with the ball. Each time you play with your dog, ensure you’re slowly raising the bar of difficulty. When they struggle to keep up, shower them with kind words and entice them with treats. 

Soon enough, your pup will get the hang of the game and will start enjoying the game without needing extra motivation. They will be running up to you with the ball in their mouths, begging to play. 

How old should a dog be to teach to fetch?

Your puppy can start to fetch training as early as 2-3 months old, and Puppies as young as 8 weeks are ready for fetch. If you start this early – expect to have an enthusiastic dog when they reach adulthood. 

Training early ensures you have an appropriate outlet for redirecting that puppy energy, thus saving yourself from unwanted dribbles around the house. A little activity in the day can wear them out to take a nap or be a bit more relaxed in the evening.

Are German Shorthaired Pointers hard to train?

When you start training your German Shorthaired Pointer pup, you’ll first realize that they get easily distracted. With reliable methods, you will find it easier than you thought possible.

While your pup can focus only for short periods (usually no more than 5-10 minutes with high distraction), they are also quick learners. With daily training, they’ll soon learn to be more disciplined and pay attention to the game. 

How do you stimulate a German Shorthaired Pointer? 

You can start with fetching along with a bag of treats and toys works wonders too. Fetch can be a great motivator, especially once they catch on a few times and realize it inevitably leads to praise and yummy treats. 

Puppies enjoy this playful game and will benefit from physical exercise. Just remember that if you let your dog eat its fetch toys – they may end up destroying their toys whenever they get bored, which could lead to a very costly habit.


Fetch is a fun game that can not only keep you entertained but also your puppy. While playing fetch, you and your pet work together to accomplish a specific goal under the training guidelines.

Fetch is meant to be fun. You and your pet get the chance to experience “training” in a structured manner. While simultaneously making it an entertaining experience where you can build a connection with one another.

This game type allows you and your dog to experience training as a playful activity. After all, enjoying each other’s company through meaningful experiences is really what it’s all about.


An Owner and a huge fan of GSP's! I have owned my GSP for 7 years now and learned so many things along the way to share with you all about German Shorthaired Pointers!

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