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Hi all!

I'm curious, has anyone else heard of/taught their dogs "Sheepballs"? Our trainer recommended it for Bailey to help him improve his focus, and i think he'd really enjoy it. Although he'll fetch his stuffed toys at home, he doesn't like to return/fetch a ball when out, but seems to prefer to just be a goalie and stop the ball then move on to another one!

I've posted the link to the inventor below to anyone who is interested!

https://www.learningaboutdogs.com/welcome-sheepballs/

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Looks interesting! I have never heard of this before.

 

my pup also is not interested in fetching. She likes goaltending as well though, so worth a look. I can’t tell too much from the website as far as how to play exactly, maybe it is the sort of thing that you adapt to yourself and your situation. Cool.

It was interesting reading on the fetching thread of all the great games people do around fetch, our dog doesn’t have the 8nterest in a ball to work like that for one. She does like tug and will play games around that. Maybe this is something new to try.

 

currently her ball games are goaltending a soccer ball and running around the yard with a ball in her mouth while the kids play chase with her. They all love that. I had encouraged her when she was younger to pick up a ball or someth8ng to stop from grabbing at the kids clothes when they are all running in the yard and this is what it has become now at 7 months old. 

 

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From a quick look at the link, IMHO this 'sheepballs' thing is more about training the dog to play with the largish ball in a specific way, than the ball. Cynically, I think it is just marketing to sell the ball. I don't see why several other types of balls couldn't be substituted (i.e. jolly ball)

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I agree that you don't need a special ball to do this unless you want to go to some competitions.

A soccer ball works great for this kind of play. My former foster dog Kelso (whom many of you may remember) loves to play "trieball" with his soccer ball, and also has enjoyed an exercise ball or beach ball in the same way. He noses them down the hallway as fast as he can, and his person sets up obstacle courses for him to go through. 

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Hi hi,

we have got our dog go play sheepball-we focus on him working out he needs to be in the right position (12o clock to us). He likes it and it makes him think/nice change from fetch.

 

he still prefers fetch tho but we try to put a variety so he is not so obsessed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A bit late to the party, but I hope it is still relevant
I started teaching Sadie sheepballs at around... 3 1/2 - 4 months? Something like that. She absolutely loves it. I learned from videos and online research, since it is not a commonly known thing where I am at. I still have a kinks to work out. but Sadie loves it and that's all that matters

 

On 5/11/2021 at 6:10 PM, Meghan said:

Although he'll fetch his stuffed toys at home, he doesn't like to return/fetch a ball when out, but seems to prefer to just be a goalie and stop the ball then move on to another one!

That's actually the point of sheepballs, Sadie only now has started bringing me balls when I throw them. In sheepballs the dog is meant to stop the ball and then quickly switch to another, following your focus (it is a game meant to be played with at least two balls). there is not a ton of stuff out there, but there are some videos, even by Ms. Laurence.

 

On 5/15/2021 at 3:09 PM, gcv-border said:

Cynically, I think it is just marketing to sell the ball. I don't see why several other types of balls couldn't be substituted (i.e. jolly ball)

I'm to lazy to read that article^^ but from my research into the topic, Ms. Laurence never specifically insisted on a special ball. Finding out which balls she uses/recommends was actually quite hard. Most of the time I only found what to look for in a ball, I actually read somewhere that, while she uses the ikea balls and likes them for the beginning stages, she is not a fan of them in the long run, since they get wet and heavy quite easily outside. Personally I like the JW Hol-ee Roller - they are soft, still sturdy, you can step on them to take the ball out of the game, and Sadie can breath just fine while still holding the ball.

 

One major tipp I can give you though! Do not play sheep balls with every ball you have. Let me repeat that: DO NOT PLAY WITH EVERY BALL YOU HAVE! Stick to a certain few balls and only those! I didn't think much about it and every now and then startet playing sheepballs with Sadie with other balls and eventually she started to expect to play sheep balls. She wouldn't actually want to play anything else - I mean she would chase a ball if thrown and bring it back, but only to lay it down at my feet, staring up at me expectantly. This would go as far as me walking away from the ball and her still focusing on the big nothing at my feet.

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Sorry, I forgot to give my two cents to another comment :D

 

On 5/15/2021 at 4:56 PM, D'Elle said:

A soccer ball works great for this kind of play

I'd actually not recommend a soccer ball. Since the dog blocks with its body, depending on the dog with snout or head, it is to hard. I would recommend something softer. There are dogs that like to run around, or bring the ball back, something they can take up would be better.

 

On 5/15/2021 at 11:45 PM, Suzie said:

we have got our dog go play sheepball

May I ask how far out your boy is? Sadie is only about 3 - 5 ft. away and more on the excited side. I noticed her being much calmer farther out, but I don't know how to teach her to stay ou and not come so close

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