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I know I'm boring the crap out of everyone, but have pity on a nervous novice

(4 Posts)

Walking my dog in the usual dog field. A lady I know to nod to was walking her two labs and throwing a ball for them. My dog stole their ball. I made him drop it and took it back. We started chatting, and the dogs were chasing two balls which she was throwing. I think my dog had the ball, and snapped when one of the labs came to take it, or he tried to take the ball from the lab. Whichever way, a fight started. The other lab joined in. My dog was pinned down by both labs, but released as soon as the other owner yelled. The whole thing was over in about 5 seconds. All three dogs then waited for the ball to be thrown again. My dog would not recall, he was so fixated on the ball, and I had to put his lead on to get him away from the other dogs. The other owner apologised that her dogs had duffed up mine, and I apologised that my dog had interfered with their game. I know that this was my fault, in that I know he is ball mad and has shown aggression towards other dogs when he has a ball so I should have managed it better. Can anyone advise me on how much I need to worry about this? Should I lead my dog around other dogs from now on? Is this normal dog behaviour and to be expected? Or do I have a real problem here? I should say that he got a bit lairy with a younger collie puppy last week, and the pup retaliated and they had a bit of a barney but nothing like what just happened. Other dogs have always taken a dislike to him for some reason, but now he's starting to instigate trouble. He's 14 months old.

If you've got to the end of this anxiety driven word vomit, I applaud you <weak smile>

RedwingWinter Sat 29-Sep-12 20:05:15

From the dog's perspective, it was over in no time - and they were all sat there happily waiting for the ball to be thrown again. Don't you wish you could get over it as fast as that?!

I would say don't worry about it. These things happen, nothing serious happened (no blood), so it doesn't matter.

It doesn't sound like you need to put a lead on him all the time. In any case, if you do, you lose lots of training opportunities. It sounds like you need to keep an eye on him when there are balls around, but that's all.

You could always practise him giving up balls at home, to make it easier when out and about? (maybe you have a good drop command already?)

He does drop, Redwing, but it's like he's hypnotised. A ball sends him in to such a high state of excitement it's very hard to distract him, so he'll drop it but won't take his eyes off it iyswim. Thanks for replying, my anxiety is getting the better of me blush I don't let him have a ball at home unless we're playing in the garden because he's such a monumental PITA with it. If he drops it behind something he whines and cries until you retrieve it for him. It is simply The Most Amazing Thing Ever <sigh>

tooearlytobeup Sat 29-Sep-12 20:41:06

My Springer is equally ball obsessed. It is literally his world. I always take his ball on walks, but put it in my pocket if I would rather him run around sniffing scents or interact with other dogs. If I need to distract him or get his attention back I get it out again.

I had a blush moment last week. I had a soft rubber ball which he had been chasing, then we met a man throwing a brand new tennis ball for his cocker. My dog obviously preferred it, and sat at his feet expectantly gazing at it. He was totally focused on it and wouldn't come with me. I had to put his lead on and buy some the next day. Must be a spaniel thing grin

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