Doggy Ball Training
A drive is a part of your dog's
instincts. There are quite a lot of different types of drives. Some
of them are Ball Drive, Food Drive, Sex Drive, Fight Drive, Defense
Drive, Hunt Drive (or Prey Drive) and Herding Drive. There are many
Ball drive and food drive are two types of drives that are ideal for teaching your dog new tricks. The basic premise is to keep your dog happy even while you are teaching it new jobs or tricks or imparting just any other type of training. You as the owner must find a ways and means of keeping him happy. Playing ball or foods are excellent tools for making this happen.
If you work without using treats
such as playing ball or food, your dog might get bored and
disinterested rather quickly. You must ensure that the treats serve
the purpose of motivating your dog to work for you. This helps to
build drive. It might frustrate your dog. But the frustration is
actually good as it enhances the drive.
A ball game is an excellent method for a young dog to practice control of his muscles and body reactions.
The right type of ball
A hard rubber ball is ideal for your dog to play with. The size should be just large enough to fit between the dog’s teeth. It should not be too small as the danger of it being accidentally swallowed then exists.
Tennis balls are okay for older pup. But ping-pong balls must not be used. For playing soccer a large lightweight ball can be used as your dog moves the ball with his muzzle in this game. Do not use balls made of soft leather or plastic. They can be torn easily and the pieces can be swallowed. This would be detrimental to your dog’s health.
How to play ball game
If you are playing with a puppy then you must roll the ball along the ground either towards him or away from him. The objective of this game is to strengthen his motor coordination. Ensure the size of the ball is just right for his little mouth. Not too small but not too large either.
If you are playing with an adult dog you can toss the ball for him to catch. But the ball should be lightweight. Never throw the ball directly at the dog’s face. Throw from a short distance in the initial phases. Also never play ‘catch’ with a ball as tiny as a golf ball. It could go down your dog’s throat with disastrous consequences.
Some dogs enjoy pushing a ball with their snouts for a distance. A lightweight soccer ball would do such fine for such an activity! Initial ball games can ideally be played in a long and narrow hallway with as little furniture as possible. If the hallway can be emptied, it would be just great!
Outdoor ball games
You can play just any kind of ball game outdoors with your dog. The game should be fun and enjoyed by both you and your dog. It could be catch, rolling, throwing or ball boxing. However your dog must be trained to relinquish the ball on command.
The ball can be rolled at different speeds. It can be rolled out of the dog’s line of vision. It can be rolled on uneven ground so that it hops, jumps and skips. This will increase the dog’s desire to get the ball under his control. You can add variety to this by combining it with your dog finding and fetching objects.
Never throw the ball directly at your dog. Start with easy curves covering a short distance only. Gradually the distance can be increased. Soon long-range throws with a solid rubber ball will enhance your dog’s reactions, sprinting ability, stamina and endurance too. His obedience quotient will also increase, as he will have to obey you when you direct him to ‘fetch’ or ‘come’ to you.
Most dogs find these long-range tosses very stimulating. They get really enthusiastic when you throw the ball far away and they have to sprint a long distance to fetch it. The long distance run is very good for your doggie’s muscles and his sprinting abilities. If the ball lands at a place where it cannot be seen, then your dog will have to use its smelling abilities to trace it before he can fetch it.
This game can be played with large lightweight or air filled balls. In this game you can throw the ball directly at your dog. He will jump up and hit the ball with his muzzle so that it comes right back to you. It would be a good idea to play this game on soft turf. The reason being that most dogs in their enthusiasm to hit the ball fall flat on the ground. Soft turf would help cushion the landing.
A word of caution - do not leave air filled balls for a dog to play with unsupervised. They could burst and the dog could swallow the pieces.
Your dog will enjoy playing with a large ball by pushing it along with his muzzle and his paws. He could play this game alone. But his ultimate joy lies in playing this game of soccer with you. In a soccer game you and your pet try to take the ball away from each other. This game is great fun in a large soccer field.
But when you are playing with him you must not permit to bite your clothing or shoes. So you must slow the pace of the game occasionally and give him commands such as ‘sit’ or ‘down’. This way he will always be under your control. So even if the game gets very exciting he will not tug at any part of your apparel.
In some dogs this game might stimulate aggression. The dog might try to behave in a dominant manner too. If you find him becoming too aggressive, just stop the game.