Updated: Sep 14, 2018
I have personally never been a great advocate for ball throwing, mainly through personal experience, but now through knowledge too.
In my twenties a friend had a dog, a lovely border collie, he was full of life and very energetic.
One day Nigel was playing with him in the garden with a ball, he landed badly and was immediately immobilised. They rushed him to the vet he had slipped a disc, he never walked properly again, and was doubly incontinent from that day. They tried everything, but after a year decided it was time to say goodbye as his quality of life was so awfull.
Fast forward 10 years and I rescued a German pointer called Tosca, she was totally obsessed with balls, if no balls it was sticks, to the point that if she couldn’t find a stick she would make her own by pulling a branch off a tree!
Walking her was rather annoying as she just kept dropping sticks at your feet… and at anyone elses if I wasn’t playing She wasn’t wondering around sniffing, searching, hunting... she was totally addicted to having something thrown for her.
At this point it reconfirmed for different reasons why ball throwing isn’t a great habit.
I love walking my dogs and I found the constant throwing of a ball really dull for me. I am engaged with my dogs when I walk them in different ways, including games that include sniffing (more to come in a different blog post!)...
About 3 years ago I was walking my dogs in Battersea Park when my pointer Obe was leapt on by a Lab we knew from the park….. the dog walker was shocked, couldn’t understand why he had done it, we then realised Obe had passed between him and his ball! Now I understand more of the science and it is something I am very much against.
Ball obsession can lead to dogs being aggressive