My lovely 4 yr old Springer is driving us INSANE at the moment and I need ideas on how to help him.
He appears to love playing fetch with balls especially, but when the game is over he wants to carry on to the extent he will find any ball shaped object and bring it to anyone he thinks will play, often visitors to the house. He sat whimpering in front of a ball shaped rock next to the guy who came to paint our outside railings. For two days! And the guy didn't even acknowledge him once!
The approach we take is to ignore the behaviour and we have stopped playing these games at home as he just can't help himself and seems to get quite stressed by it, even though he loves to play. Just looking for ideas to try to control this behaviour. In other respects he is a good boy, knows all the basic commands and has excellent recall, he just can't seem to control himself if there is a ball around! And it's a shame to have to stop playing.
Is he food orientated - could you stuff a kong with something nice and freeze it so that he then has to spend a decent amount of time getting the food out - a different interaction with something that is a bit ball-like ?
We have much the same issue with our terrier . Absolutely ball obsessed and if you start playing at home he just keeps barking at you to make you play on . Our answer was to not allow balls in the house or garden ,he is only allowed them on walks and they are surrendered at the front door .
We had a frisbee mad dog - but we could carry the frisbee in a bag and insist upon some of the time on each walk that she gave it back and did 'normal' dog things rather than chase or carry the frisbee all the time - once it was in the bag she knew that she wouldn't get it for a while - although she did learn where it was likely to come out and would get very expectant. However, I feel that it did break the potential cycle of her becoming overly obsessive about it, the way you sometimes see some collies.