Jump to content
BC Boards

Recommended Posts

I'm wanting to buy a soccer ball (or size 3) to kick for the dog. I bought a regular ball to see if she'd like it and she loved it, but tore it to shreds in seeming minutes. I've tried the jolly ball and we use it only for inside because the plastic is too unpleasant to kick barefooted. 

Any recommendations? I see chukit has a ball. There are also 'tougher' soccer balls out there. Curious if anyone has tried any before I buy. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine love the jolly balls that have the ball inside a ball, and have holes to carry them.  I have them in all three sizes.  However, they are hard and like Michael says -- just wear shoes.  We also buy the chuck-it whistler balls, but they are small.  They are the only ball that my son's dog (who chews up EVERYTHING) cannot or does not chew at all.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm on my fifth BC.  My first was a rescue, that I got when she was 3.5 yr old.  She had played ball (and rocks....ugh) with her previous owner and all of his friends.  By age 10, she had TERRIBLE arthritis in her front feet from stopping abruptly to grab balls.  I haven't seriously played ball with any of my BCs since.  YMMV.....

diane

Link to post
Share on other sites

The best one on the market is the invisible one...introducing and playing ball is about the worst thing you can teach a BC..get an egg and let them self entertain if you must!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Respectfully disagree with Journey about playing ball with your BC. I've always done it, and I've got my 4th bc right now. The Very Important Key to successful use of a ball for fetch or soccer is that the ball belongs to the Human in the equation. That means the Human decides when and for how long ball play goes on. It was never an issue for me, not even when I had 3 dogs at the same time. I simply assumed that I was in charge of everything. 

I did start out with one very sweet natured and already an adult bc, and she was fine with stopping the fetch game whenever I wanted to stop. She may have influenced the others as they came along. Truly, though, it was never a problem.

I also have never left balls out available to my dogs. I always provide the ball and it always gets put away when I'm done. Be aware that your dog may need to take breaks from fetch in case of injury or illness. Or you might need to kennel him for a while and they usually don't play fetch at a kennel.

Ironically, my current guy has a bad knee. He slipped badly on a muddy, slippery path several years ago and there went his left knee. No fetch for him.

So you're in charge of the ball, not the dog. It boils down to that.

Ruth & Gibbs

Link to post
Share on other sites

I completely agree with urge to herd, above. In my opinion, teaching my border collies to fetch turned out to be one of the best things I taught them. It allowed me to provide exercise for them even on days when I was sick or too tired to go outside much or to hike or take a long walk.  They never minded if I just threw a soft toy in the living room, and no matter how tired or sick, no matter the weather, you can always do that.

 I have even had a fetch-obsessed border collie, and there was no problem with it at all. He learned that he couldn't ask me to throw, but if I told him to go get the ball or toy to throw he could bring me what he wanted me to throw. The rest of the time he could take toys out of the basket to play with by himself. It made him so joyful to play fetch that it never failed to make me happy as well. As stated above, the whole key is in who controls the ball or toy. Some dogs, you can't leave the fetch toys out or the dog will bug you to throw, but my Jester learned that doing that got him nothing, so he was very polite about it.

I am not so sure about lacrosse balls, though. They are VERY hard, and if the dog catches that ball it can actually break teeth. My preference is to use rubber balls or doggy tennis balls, and if the dog is a chewer, just keep them out of reach.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mindless fetch is a game that is for the owners, not the dog. If you must, teach them to fetch but to also use their nose. A game of distinction. Toss a toy in a pile of others..they bring back the one you tossed. Or hide toys. inside or out, and they again, have to use their noses. Or an egg, the jolly pet egg, where they push it around, outside, and due to the shape it doesn't go straight. But mindless fetch is just a vicious circle, and one the dog doesn't win in. While you may think it's for physical exercise, it also creates repetitive motions, ocd, and a fit dog that wants, needs more, due to being taught that. Use their mind, wear that out, and build their off switch if that's the real problem.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with Journey - mindless fetch is not good for your dog. It may , may, tire them physically, but it does nothing to tire the mind and it can lead to injuries. Ask me how I know. Definitely teach your dog to get something and bring it back to your hand. That is a very useful skill. if you want to throw a ball so your dog can run to get it, a somewhat safe way of accomplishing that is to put your dog in a stay next to you, throw the ball into some weeds and release the dog. In this manner, the dog does not mindlessly sprint after a moving ball. He must slow down and find the ball in the weeds - reducing impact and torsion injuries. Impulse control, running, scenting and returning to hand all in one exercise.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/26/2021 at 12:07 PM, Journey said:

Mindless fetch is a game that is for the owners, not the dog. If you must, teach them to fetch but to also use their nose. A game of distinction. Toss a toy in a pile of others..they bring back the one you tossed. Or hide toys. inside or out, and they again, have to use their noses. Or an egg, the jolly pet egg, where they push it around, outside, and due to the shape it doesn't go straight. But mindless fetch is just a vicious circle, and one the dog doesn't win in. While you may think it's for physical exercise, it also creates repetitive motions, ocd, and a fit dog that wants, needs more, due to being taught that. Use their mind, wear that out, and build their off switch if that's the real problem.

Well, Journey, ....and Diane.... and gvc-border, apparently you have had very different experience with fetch with your dog(s) than I have had, and I certainly respect what you say based on your own experience. My experience and therefore my opinion is completely different, and the fact is that each dog and each situation is different.

In the case of my Jester, my fetchingest dog, there was nothing "mindless" about fetch  for him, as I changed it up all the time - asking him to do something before I threw it, or to wait and then go find it, and so on. The game definitely was not for me, but for him. I enjoyed it, of course, but only because he was so ecstatic when fetching,  if you had seen him and what utter joy and intensity shone in his eyes when he was fetching the frisbee or ball, you wouldn't dream of saying that it was for me and not for him! It was his favorite thing, except for when I put him on sheep a couple of times. The frisbee was his sheep, in a way. He enjoyed everything we did with an intensity that never failed to lift my heart and put a smile on my face (he never stopped wagging his tail when we were doing a Freestyle routine, for example), but fetch was his favorite.

As far as Jester was concerned, he won every time I threw something, and he won every time he caught it and returned it. It was a cycle, sure, but not by any means a vicious one. I did not promote any OCD behaviors in him, because I carefully controlled the play, as I said above. 

And, of course a border collie needs more than that.  Just because I or anyone else plays fetch with their dog doesn't mean that's the only thing they do with their dog!

Jester also had agility, (until I couldn't afford it any more); daily training, weekly meetings, and frequent performances in Musical Canine Freestyle; and training every day in something else as well (putting toys away and so on),  simply because he and I both enjoyed the training so much. He also got two walks a day, usually an hour long each unless I was sick or the weather was really bad in which case he got play in the house instead. We played hide and seek for toys....that was another of his favorite games. We went for long hikes in the mountains. We went exploring in the desert together. And so on. In fact, he went with me almost everywhere I went unless it wouldn't be good for him, for instance it being summer and too hot.  We probably would have done nose work but I didn't know about it at the time. All of these things in addition to the fetch game strengthened my bond with him.

I want to say that the cautionary things you are saying have validity, for sure. I would never tell someone to teach their dog to fetch instead of doing other things with them. I would, and do, always caution people strongly against overdoing it in terms of their joints and ligaments, take care with how long it is played and on what surface and in what temperature, and to make sure they control the game's when and where carefully as I have said, so that it doesn't become a problem. In the hands of a person who does understand these things and with a dog who enjoys it as much as Jes did, I cannot see anything wrong with it. Certainly, neither Jester nor I suffered any ill effects from it whatever. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Michael Parkey said:

Thank you, D'Elle.  I resent being called "mindless" by someone who has never met me or my dog, and never seen us play fetch.

Wow, who called you and your dog mindless? Of course dogs love to fetch, that's what they've been taught..but straight out simple fetch is mindless. Spice it up, make them use their senses, and not just be into an  ocd jacked up behavior over an inanimate object..

Link to post
Share on other sites

You are welcome, Michael Parkey, but to be clear I don't think anyone meant that a person was mindless for playing fetch with a dog; they were cautioning against letting it be  mindless for the dog.

I have never had a dog who loved to fetch do it in a way that I would have ever called "mindless", or "ocd jacked up behavior over an inanimate object" myself.  But apparently this can happen, because the people here who have said that must have seen it themselves or they wouldn't be saying these things with such certainty.

As I said, one's opinions are formed by one's experiences. I have had different experiences with it with all of the fetching dogs I have had. I think it is a very individual thing and dependent on the dog, the owner, the circumstances and so on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of interesting takes in this thread, did not expect it to go this way. For the record, I also do training, walks, hikes, nose work, beach, etc. with my dog. That said, she LOVES fetch and when we go in the yard (which is small) it's a great activity where I can sit and do work and periodically throw the ball for her. When we go to a dog park, all she wants to do is fetch with the toys there. It is undoubtedly her favorite activity outside of something more active, like hiking. 

Based on some interesting food for thought in this thread, I'll greatly reduce her fetch, but cutting it out doesn't seem like something she'd want, or I'd want, as it's a good way to exercise her when I can't do something more engaging. 

And for the record, the Champion Sports Extreme soccer ball lasts no longer than any other ball. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...