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Is it possible to train a dog to chase a ball?

(15 Posts)
Mitzi50 Thu 17-Jul-14 13:28:46

We got a new rescue dog last week. She is lovely but extremely nervous. She seems quite intelligent and is already walking nicely on the lead. She doesn't know how to play though and has no interest in toys of any sort. My son would love to play "fetch" with her but she isn't interested when a ball is rolled or thrown. Is it possible to train her to do this?

buggerboooo Thu 17-Jul-14 13:31:44

My boy doesnt know how to play with toys. You could maybe get her interested by treating her every time she touches the ball?

pawsiespaws Thu 17-Jul-14 14:48:59

I would use a treat ball filled with yummy treats (chicken/liver/sausage etc) so she learns to associate the ball with food. Gradually reward her for interacting with the ball and any movements she makes towards you with the ball and eventually you can keep rewarding her with different treats (e.g. cheese/ham etc) so she learns to fetch.

Lilcamper Thu 17-Jul-14 16:15:28

If you rescued her last week I'd just let her chill a bit and de stress, let her get used to being part of your family for a bit. The play might happen when she is more settled.

Goldmandra Thu 17-Jul-14 16:26:04

She needs a lot longer to settle in before you know her real character. Ours are both rescues. One took six months before she began to learn to chase a ball. The other has never learned after three years but can play in other ways.

Take it very slowly.

Mitzi50 Thu 17-Jul-14 16:54:06

Thanks - we will let her chill for a bit. She only about 18 months so there's plenty of time.

kelpeed Mon 21-Jul-14 01:38:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SistersOfPercy Mon 21-Jul-14 14:20:36

My last boy was never toy orientated, regardless of how much we tried to get him interested. I bought him no end of chewy, fluffy, squeaky, smelly toys and he just had no interest in play whatsoever.

Murphy pup is a toy monster. From the day he came to live with us he was toy mad. He fetches a ball (not sure how we managed to teach him that one!) but he has always got something on the go. His most favourite things in the world are a small, squeaky bluebird and a little green octopus. He has a crate in the dining room full to the brim of toys and he gets the lot out most nights. He's messier than the kids ever were!

clam Mon 21-Jul-14 18:34:29

My dog is just over three and is still crap at playing ball, even though he's supposed to be intelligent. He'll get all excited when you get it out, and sit for you, looking expectant. You throw it, he runs and then halfway there he veers off at a tangent because something else has caught his attention. Or, he'll just run straight past it, having forgotten to note where it landed. Or, he'll pick it up and bring it back, but refuse to let you have it to throw again.
I do more "fetching" than he does!

CalamityKate1 Mon 21-Jul-14 18:40:53


I taught our late dog to chase and retrieve a ball when she was 7. She had no natural urge to chase it at all so I had to teach it in much the same way as I'd teach a formal retrieve.

She learned to enjoy it as a way of earning treats but I don't think she ever got a kick out of the chase itself smile

hairypaws Tue 22-Jul-14 08:27:43

I taught my girl when she was 2. She really wasn't interested but with clicker training she now loves it.

kelpeed Fri 25-Jul-14 05:13:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Helgathehairy Fri 25-Jul-14 15:59:37

clam you just described my boy. The irony is he's a retriever!

SarcyMare Mon 28-Jul-14 13:15:52

my cocker spaniel has no interest in toys, she runs up to the thrown object, sniffs it, discovers it isn't edible and wanders off.

Mitzi50 Wed 30-Jul-14 18:33:36

An update from my OP - DDog2 is beginning to settle in and feel more confident. On a walk she barked and picked up a stick and obviously wanted me to throw it which I did and she bought it back! We tried her again subsequently with a ball and she chased it - she will now chase the ball and brings it back about 70% of the time (the rest of the time she runs away with it and then drops it).

She seems to have had some training (excellent recall, sit) but was found starving and is terrified of new people - my DD has arrived back from travelling today and DDog2 has spent much of the afternoon hiding - my vet says some of her behaviours (particularly around food) suggest that she was either abused or was kept in a house with multiple dogs.

Anyway she seems very trainable so I am taking her to a beginner obedience class tomorrow. I didn't bother with DDog1 as he is a rescue greyhound and, although very lovely with loads of excellent qualities, he is not blessed in the IQ department.

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