Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Ball mad(12 Posts)
Can anyone give me some advice please?
Our 1 year old patterdale terrier is fabulous in every way but with balls. He will chase and retrieve them but his release still needs work. I don't normally take him for a walk with a ball as his recall is not 100% with one. He likes to dash around with it in his mouth instead.
The problem is if we come across children playing with a ball. This really isn't a daily occurrence as we live in a very rural area but if we have a day out at a country park. He will dash across a field to get the ball. He is totally fixated. If we stop and people are playing ball nearby he will bark and bark to get to them. He will pull madly on a lead to get the ball.
How can we stop this? Any advice? Thank you
I have a ball obsessed patterdale x , we’ve never had the issue with him stealing other peoples balls because I always have one more than he can carry . Ours isn’t allowed balls at home we keep them purely for walks and when he was younger we used to throw one and then throw the other to get the first one back IYSWIM , nowadays he’s happy to give them back . I also found that if I throw a ball he won’t come right back to me he stops about 5m away but if I kick the ball he returns it to my feet to be kicked again .
Thanks, that's interesting it sounds like they are very similar dogs.
He is off to be neutered today so not much running around for a couple of days.
Take 2 balls, it’s the only thing that works with Billypup. I’ve also started using gun dog dummies instead as she can still have fun but doesn’t get over excited as balls go further but again I need 2 of them.
My Patterdale mugs other dogs for their balls. I’ve found it doesn’t go down terribly well with their owners, especially as he then runs off with them. I therefore only let him off where there’s no chance of such encounters. With regards to getting him to give the ball back I find high value treats work well, but it has taken some time and he does still like to run madly round with the ball. Mine is two and I think he has just about got the concept that relinquishing ball = treat + another throw of ball.
I’ve also switched to mostly using the gun dog dummies rather than balls, which she prefers so are higher value than another dogs tennis ball
SockDog mugs other dogs for balls as well. SockDog always takes the ball back to the right human to have it thrown again. She doesn’t chase it she lets the other dog do that and then she goes and mugs them.
So definitely only off lead with known dogs and people. And never ever when there are footballs around.
My dog was like this and taking more than one ball helps. I seem to remember it took hearly 2 years for him to understand that if he brought back the ball and dropped it we could throw it again 🤣🤣
Our jack russell was like this, to the extent that if he saw ball games on the telly (football was favourite, but snooker was great too) he would try and snatch them off the screen. If the ball went out of shot to the side he'd look round the back. It was really very funny. When he heard the match of the day theme he would place himself right in front of the screen.
I saw a thing at Battersea once where they were trying to cure a dog of its ball obsession. They filled his kennel with a box of about 100 tennis balls - a sort of sensory overload. They never said whether it worked though.
If we saw someone playing with a ball we just had to put him on his lead. We never even tried to destroy his love of balls. He would have made a brilliant drugs dog, he would do anything for a ball. We used to have long games of hiding the ball round the house and he always sniffed it out. For birthday treats we used to blow up balloons so he could have a major popping session.
Rather than trying to stop your dogs love of balls, perhaps teach him to be more responsive to your commands when on the lead? Just an idea and in no way a criticism. I know what it's like.
Ah dogs, where would we be without them.
I do think Billypup would love a playdate with @sockdog she loves the chase but really can't be bothered with that whole bringing it back crap so they'd work well as a team
Thanks every one, it sounds like loads of us have a similar "problem". I think the two balls ideas is a good one. I thought about the sensory overload, I must have seen the same episode, I wonder if it works.
My poor boy is fast asleep on my knee now, following his castration. Though if I got a ball out...
@billybagpuss they’d be a dream team!