If he’s like most pups he’ll be off like a shot, find the cob and either pick it up or start playing with it. If he picks it up, call or whistle and he is pretty likely to bring it with him when he comes to you. Order him to sit as you take the cob from his mouth or as you go and get it, as the case may be. Continue this game as long as Jock thoroughly enjoys it, but never let him start for the cob without your order. He is having a lot of fun, but he must never be allowed to forget he must abide by the rules.
Now we’ll assume Jock is the one pup in a hundred that takes little or no interest in the cob or your throwing of it. In some ways that is so much the better. The whole routine is then serious business from the start; yet later on, when he learns the practical purposes to which it can be put, he will take as much pleasure in doing it as if he had enjoyed it from the first. For the present, however, since he isn’t interested in your feint tosses and doesn’t move when you actually throw the cob, cut out the preliminaries and get right down to business.
Order Jock to sit, put on his leash, praise him a little to put him in good humor, hold the cob close to his muzzle, press it against his teeth and give the order “Fetch!” The chances are he will take the hint and grab the cob. If he doesn’t, wait until he opens his mouth to breathe or open it yourself by taking his lower jaw in your hand; then insert the cob and hold his jaws together for a moment, repeating the command “Fetch.” Don’t be rough about this but keep the pressure on his jaws until he stops resisting it. If he grabs the cob of his own accord he may begin to chew it or drop it almost as soon as it is in his mouth. In that case use the same pressure around his muzzle to prevent his doing either one. Then say “Give it!” or some similar command, release the pressure on his jaws and take the cob in your other hand when he opens his mouth to drop it.
Now pat him on the head, tell him he’s a good dog, take him for a little walk of a hundred feet or so and, if he shows the slightest sign of boredom, play with him a moment or two. Then bring him back to the original spot and go through the routine again. Make the sessions short not more than ten or fifteen minutes each and in a day or two Jock will probably take the cob when you say “Fetch!” and sit holding it until “Give itl”, when he will deliver it into your hands.