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Works on dogs, monkeys and gym partners!

There's an Angry Guard Dog on your tail, what to do? Grab a stick, say "here boy" while waving the stick and whistling, and throwing it as far away from you as possible. (Especially if it is a lighted dynamite stick, which is practically mandatory in animated settings.)

Sometimes, this will not be limited to a dog and a stick, possibly due to All Animals Are Domesticated, All Animals Are Dogs, or for werewolves, Werewolves Are Dogs.

Unlikely to work in Real Life. Professionally trained attack, bomb/drug-sniffer and guard dogs will ignore such distractions and stay on target. Needless to say, don't expect to successfully use this trope. That said, Mythbusters tested this one early in the show's lifespan and found out that your standard-issue guard Doberman can be distracted by raw meat for a little while, and they'll get completely obsessed over the urine of a female dog in heat (Guard dogs are rarely, if ever, fixed since it makes them more docile) to the point where Tory was able to successfully complete his objective. But with even stricter training it's possible to get them to ignore these as well.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan have Gri the Gryphon who enjoys playing fetch with it's master, Nobita, despite being, well, a gryphon. Justified since it's an artificially created pet made from Doraemon's gadgets.
  • In Dragon Ball, Jackie Chun tricks the Man-Wolf into going out of bounds at the 22nd Tenka'ichi Budokai by throwing a bone. Man-Wolf was not amused.
  • There was a joke in Inuyasha where Kagome got the eponymous character to fetch a stick.

    Film — Animation 
  • In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hiccup (accompanied by Astrid and their dragons) willingly gives himself up to Eret and his hunters so that they could introduce them to Drago. When gives them his Flaming Sword to hold onto, Eret responds by throwing it far off into the ocean, only to find that Stormfly brought it back. He proceeds to do this again and again until Stoick comes in and overwhelms the crew.
  • Carl uses a tennis ball from his cane to clear Muntz's dogs out of Kevin's room in Up.

    Film — Live Action 
  • In Alpha (2018), Keda attempts to shoo the eponymous wolf by grabbing a stick and throwing it towards it to scare it off. Alpha just grabs the stick and brings it back to Keda.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • Grant is able to stop a pissed T-Rex from crushing a stalled jeep (with children inside) with a flare. Unfortunately Malcolm decides he's going to do the same thing... it doesn't go as well for him, as he keeps moving after throwing it. Justified in that the Rex's vision is supposed to be so bad in the dark and the rain that all it could follow was the movement of the flare.
    • Dennis Nedry tries it with a Dilophosaurus. It looks at him like he's an idiot before it starts spitting venom at him.
  • A running gag in Night at the Museum is that the T-rex skeleton can be distracted by throwing one of its ribs for it. It acts exactly like a dog anyway.
  • The Predator: one of the alien dogs brought by the Ultimate Predator to track down its prey gets shot in the head, which lobotomises the creature so it starts acting like a Big Friendly Dog instead. One character gets it out of the way by tossing an unprimed grenade for it to fetch. The alien dog returns with the grenade at just the right time for it to be useful.

  • Discworld:
  • This actually works in Duumvirate, because the dog likens the stick-thrower to his masters.
  • Attempted in Percy Jackson and the Olympians against Cerberus who ignores it. Then they pull out a ball and play it completely straight. He actually whines and looks disappointed when they leave.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Subverted in The 10th Kingdom; Wolf snarkily attempts to do this with Prince after he's been turned into gold.
    • The same thing was again done later, by Tony, after using the magic wishing well. This time it seems to be the key that does the trick, since Prince breaks out of the gold right afterward.
  • In an episode of iCarly, Sam saves Freddie from a pair of Jerk Jocks by getting their attention with a steak.
    "Meat?! PROTEIN!!!"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Munchkin has the Pit Bull, whose card says:
    If you can't defeat it, you may distract it (automatic escape) by dropping any wand, pole, or staff. (Fetch, Fido!)

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • In BLOODCRUSHER II, the enemy attack dogs will chase after any grenades you throw. If they are also bomb dogs, throwing a grenade at the enemy and having two or three dogs follow behind can generate enough damage to gib even The Brute.
  • This is how to get past the H.R. Giger-ized dog in the Dark World in Dark Seed, or else it kills the player.
  • Early on in Divinity: Original Sin II, you can find a kennel full of Angry Guard Dogs while exploring a fortress. One of the ways to avoid fighting them is to offer them a squeaky toy ball to play with.
  • In Hugo's House of Horrors, the cellar is guarded by a large vicious guard dog and the only way to get past him is to throw him the chop that you receive from the butler earlier in the game.
  • One of the puzzles in King's Quest V involves throwing a stick for a dog which has been terrorizing an anthill.
  • One of the omake comics in the strategy guide for the remake of Lunar: Eternal Blue has Lucia do this with Leo.
  • At one point in Mass Effect 3: Citadel, Shepard attempts this on a biotic varren (a sort of Tuchankan animal broadly similar to a big, lanky, angry dog) with a frying pan, that being the first thing s/he had had on hand to fend the varren off with. It ends poorly, not because the varren doesn't want to fetch, but because it throws things back.
  • In the Medal of Honor games, it's not advised to do this with the attack dogs and a hand grenade. Unless you run away so it detonates before the dog catches up to you...
  • Undertale gives you a stick. It also gives you encounters with guard dogs who, without exception, love to play fetch.
  • Wyatt does this with a Panzerhund and a grenade near the beginning of Wolfenstein: The New Order. The catch is that the Panzerhund is a nine-foot-tall attack robot shaped like a dog.

  • Exterminatus Now: Virus sabotages Morth's attempt to summon a Patternari demon (a giant floating eyeball) but instead summons a demon of the Hound (a huge three-headed Hell Hound). Morth manages to distract it by pretending to throw a tennis ball, but this only works once (and the demon is not amused), so the next time he does throws it... into the demon-containment trap he'd set up just in case. After Morth's demonic ascension succeeds, he's tricked into heading into the very same trap.
    Morth: Hoho! The fox has gone to ground!
  • While not deliberately done, Florence from Freefall, who is an uplifted wolf, as well as an extremely intelligent rocket scientist (in the sense that she's researching next-generation FTL-drives in her spare time) - is shown to be vulnerable to this. Despite being preoccupied with a major moral and technical conundrum at the time, when a ball goes bouncing by, she just goes "BALL!" and leaps after it. Having been raised as an ordinary puppy probably has a lot to do with it.
    • Later Blunt tries to use this against her deliberately. It seems he threw the ball in the direction she wanted to run off in anyway.
  • In Homestuck, Jade attempts to retrieve the package John sent her but is blocked by her dog Becquerel. Every time she tries to shoot at him, he uses his Reality Warper powers to parry or deflect the bullets, so she does this instead, shooting in the opposite direction and fetching the package while Bec has teleported away to catch the bullet.
  • In earlier Kevin & Kell years, this trick is used to "expose" canines that are suspected of having Domestication. This plotline is discontinued in later years when Domestication becomes more generally accepted (including Domestication Pride Marches).
  • Misho from Keychain of Creation uses it deliberately to distract his Lunar partner, Marena. She's basically a shape-shifting fox, but it still works... it is described as "A technique developed by the ancient Solars for controlling their Lunar partners", and Misho mostly uses it to distract Marena when she's frustrated by being in heat (and him being a Chaste Hero).

    Web Original 
  • Beau attempts this in one episode of Critical Role, throwing the remains of a toy sword in an attempt to distract some winter wolves that the party are fighting as part of a tournament. However, even though she gets a natural 20 on her Animal Handling check, Matt counters that the wolves are too intelligent to fall for such an obvious trick regardless of how well she did.
  • videogamedunkey attempted this with a Hylian Retriever in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It didn't react.

    Western Animation 
  • In Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Monterey Jack uses a wrench for this trope in order to distract a robot Angry Guard Dog.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven", Meg tries to convert Brian to Christianity by having him fetch a crucifix (DVD version only; the TV version has her throw an ordinary cross).
  • This is how Johnny Test tames Repto-Slicer, after learning that Repto's previous owner (Bling Bling Boy, AKA Eugene) didn't give it the love and attention a pet requires.
  • On Kaeloo, Mr. Cat throws a container of yogurt and tells Quack Quack to fetch it. When Quack Quack grabs it, Mr. Cat activates the explosives he had hidden nearby.
  • Done by Bugs Bunny in Looney Tunes episode "A Hare Grows in Manhattan" and (with a stick of dynamite) "The Gray-Hounded Hare."
  • In an episode of Muppet Babies (1984), Scooter and Piggy are pretending they're in The African Queen, and they both get attacked by a crocodile (actually Animal). Scooter leaves and comes back to find Piggy playing fetch with him. He asks how she was able to do it, and she explains that they both had gotten bored.
  • Tommy from Rugrats saves Chuckie from a rather large dog by doing this.
  • The Simpsons Simpsons:
    • In a Treehouse Of Horror episode, Kodos manages to get an eager-to-help Bart away from him by asking him to fetch a wrench that he dropped, which he throws as far as he possibly can.
    Bart: (chasing after it) I'm helping! I'm helping!
    • Subverted in another Treehouse Of Horror episode. In a world where Flanders rules, Homer gets chased by guard dogs. He gets an idea on how to get the dogs away from him, pulls out some hot dogs...and eats them to give himself a boost away from the dogs.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Lost Mattress", SpongeBob tosses a spoon to distract a guard worm. The spoon hits Squidward, who puts it into his back pocket and ends up getting attacked by the worm.
  • Done in one of the Tom and Jerry cartoons (and is actually one of the few times Tom talks). The dog falls for it.
    • The Tom & Jerry Kids episode "Flippin' Fido" has Tom distracting a large guard dog by throwing frisbees.
  • In Total Drama World Tour, Deadpan Snarker Noah tricks a yeti into believing he threw something to fetch.
  • Yogi Bear did it in "Pie Pirates": He lured the guard dog into the cellar of the house where the coveted pie lay by dropping a stick therein.
    Yogi: [slamming the cellar door] That's a nice, dumb doggie!