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How do you tell if a dog is too obsessed with a toy? (I'll use ball, since it's what Blaz likes best).

 

Whenever Blaze goes out to the fenced, backyard, he's *always* looking for a ball and/or bringing the ball to my feet and dropping it there. He runs around the yard with some type of ball in his mouth. It's gotten to the point where, if I'm out there he won't use the bathroom sometimes (like before turning in for the night, coming home after being gone for a few hours, things that like). It's not always, but sometimes.

 

He will come bounding over to me when called off the ball with no hesitation.

 

But it can't be good for him to have this obsession. The only way I know how to explain it is, when a ball comes out, he goes into what I'd call "working mode" like BCs do on stock. Except instead of stock, it's a ball.

 

Is this normal? Should I not be worried since he will come when called and leave the ball? Or should I be worried, and take up alll balls for a while? I dunno. . .

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The only thing I might be concerned about would be the constant searching for balls and dropping them at my feet. Not necessarily because it's unhealthy behavior, but because it would get annoying. I never leave toys out in the back yard, so my dogs don't bother searching for them. They know toys come from me, so they look to me to see whether it's playtime or not. If my dogs won't stop dropping toys at my feet and it gets annoying, I just put the toys away. Or, if I still want to play, but am otherwise occupied and can't throw the toy every two seconds (e.g., scooping poop or picking rasperries, etc) I'll just have them lay down and wait and I'll throw the toy when I'm good and ready. As long as I enforce consistently, they catch on pretty quick that when mom is busy the way to get the toy thrown is NOT to throw it at mom repeatedly (gotta love a soggy frisbee hitting you in the face!) but to lay down and wait patiently.

 

Otherwise, it sounds like Blaze is pretty much the same as my two--if there is a toy of any kind around they would rather be playing with it than doing anything else in the world!

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I have a ball/toy obsessed dog. Unless he's on sheep he's looking for something to bring to you to throw for him. He was born this way and I did not encourage it. Its obnoxious and it drives me crazy. He has a "take a break" command and a "go play by yourself" command. The only thing I've found is to put away all toys when I just can't take it anymore. Unfortunately it punishes the other dogs but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do

 

Jennifer

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Hmm. That is exactly why all Quinn's fetch toys have always been put up unless we are playing. He is very intense about toys and fetch. He is always hoping I want to play. But (and it is a very big but), he knows that he does not control when we play though he will give imploring looks. He has also learned that I won't start a game until he potties. Even now, he sometimes is too impatient to give in to this requirement for a minute or two, but then he complies and at least pees. I've tried to be careful to help him avoid obsessive behaviors because you hear so much about them in the breed.

 

Is this normal? Should I not be worried since he will come when called and leave the ball? Or should I be worried, and take up alll balls for a while? I dunno. . .

 

The behaviors you describe sound pretty typical for a lot of Border Collies. I personally wouldn't leave the toys out but I'm sure there are others who are fine doing so and have no problems or concerns.

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Jedi is very much the same as Blaze. He also started to forgo pottying, so I taught him the "go potty" command and we don't play until he does. We don't have balls in the house, and outside we pick them up when we're done playing. When I'm done playing I say "enough", and then he knows we're done. Sometimes he'll give it another try and if I just ignore him he gets it. I guess I'd say there are degrees of obsession. I'd characterize it as mild if you can call him off of it. I'd call it unhealthy if it affected his quality of life.

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How do you tell if a dog is too obsessed with a toy? (I'll use ball, since it's what Blaz likes best).

 

Whenever Blaze goes out to the fenced, backyard, he's *always* looking for a ball and/or bringing the ball to my feet and dropping it there. He runs around the yard with some type of ball in his mouth. It's gotten to the point where, if I'm out there he won't use the bathroom sometimes (like before turning in for the night, coming home after being gone for a few hours, things that like). It's not always, but sometimes.

 

He will come bounding over to me when called off the ball with no hesitation.

 

But it can't be good for him to have this obsession. The only way I know how to explain it is, when a ball comes out, he goes into what I'd call "working mode" like BCs do on stock. Except instead of stock, it's a ball.

 

Is this normal? Should I not be worried since he will come when called and leave the ball? Or should I be worried, and take up alll balls for a while? I dunno. . .

 

It must be his name... My husband's BC Blaze had a USDAA ADCH only because he was rewarded with tennis balls or frisbees for playing the game. We used to joke that we would know he was dead when he wouldn't play tennis ball anymore, but in actuality, he rolled his tennis ball to me in the morning and he was PTS (age 14) in the afternoon when he totally shut down and would not move at all on his own. Even in the throes of vestibular syndrome, he tried to play tennis ball.

 

I wouldn't worry! Use his obsession to your benefit in training.

Barb S

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Thanks for the replies :D

 

So I should probably take up all balls outside and only play on my terms.

 

I do use his OBD (instead of "OCD" it's Obessesive Ball Disorder :rolleyes:) for training purposes.

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Sounds exactly like my dog, Gypsy.She will find a ball in the backyard, even when I am sure they have all been put away Today she brought one to me that looked like it had been exhumed it was disgusting! Yes it is annoying, not helped by husband or sons but isnt it funny how they are so similar no matter where in the world they live ?

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