I would bring the ball on hikes and walks and she will hold onto it for hours. It made a HUGE difference in curbing her desire to run off and she rarely jumped on people...never with it in her mouth. She seems to release tension or excitement on the ball and she even likes it long after the squeak dies. Also, the more slobbery and dirty...the better. My mom calls it the pacifier.
I was finally able to bridge the gap in her training. I knew she knew what was right vs. wrong and that she knew the commands, but just didn't have the drive to listen to me.
After a while the idea of just running around with the ball in her mouth was losing its appeal, so I got her a chuck-it. Now she is in heaven and I never feel stressed when I take her out. She will even hold onto it when she plays with other dogs, which makes it so I never have to worry about her being to overbearing during play. And the most interest she shows in children now is if they are very nearby she'll jog over to show them her ball.
I'm able to use her interest in the ball as a training advantage. Her recall is now great because she knows when she gets back to me I'll throw the thing again, as opposed to doing something boring. As an added challenge I'll make her down and stay, then I'll throw the ball, wait til she makes eye-contact for a while and then release her. If she can't see where the ball went, it will keep her busy for a while trying to sniff it out. I've also working on her control so she'll turn around and come back before getting to it if I call her. And she never runs off with another dog's ball anymore. And I have zero tolerance for guarding so if another dog gets her ball she will just chase him or her down and then wait for them to drop it. I actually sometimes have trouble with other dogs picking it up and then they guard it as their own. Kaya doesn't see a problem with trying to lick it out of another dog's mouth so at this point I tell her to down stay next to me and we wait for the owner to get it.
Sometimes Norman tries to get a turn with the ball, but let's face it...only when Kaya lets him have it. Though he quickly loses interest once he gets it...I guess the thrill is in the chase for him;)
|I've got it, but now what the heck should I do with it?|
I've recently discovered that she likes to swim, especially when retrieving her ball. I can sense a favorite summertime activity. The great part is that she is not so ball obsesses that she ignores everything else in life, she still loves to greet new people and dogs and do other activities, but I don't have to panic about those greetings either! Win-win. She actually likes to do all her favorite wrestle moves without dropping the ball which is a huge advantage because she has a bit of a dominant playing style and this makes it more fair and stress-free!
|All by herself.|
|But not done.|
Wordless Wednesday: All I Need is You
Wordless Wednesday: Got Get It
Kaya: aka Pretty Little Baby