Playing with the ball: train your dog to bring it back

educazione al riporto
Call the shots drawing your dog's attention and teaching them to be attentive.

Actually, a very common tennis ball can be very important tool in training dogs with a particularly dominant character, who, therefore, tend to impose their way of playing in any situation. Below you will find some alternatives to teach them playing with the ball, which all have a crucial premise: playing is playing and should not turn into an exasperating attempt to make your dog respond to your commands. So, a positive and friendly attitude is always fundamental.

Ball change
For this first game you’ll need two tennis balls, or specific balls that you can buy in any pet shop:

  • Start calling your dog and, when you’re sure they noticed you’re calling them, start playing with one of the two balls, without looking at them and hiding the second ball;
  • Be persuasive and try to stimulate your dog, so that they willingly play with you. When they come near, start playing with them, letting them take the ball;
  • After a while, start playing with the second ball you have hidden. If your dog doesn’t care about it, try to draw their attention acting exactly like you did before;
  • Check where your dog leaves the first ball they have; when they get to you, let them take the second ball too;
  • Wait again for a few moments and then go and get the first ball back, starting all over again.

Bring ball back
Ball change is a good game to start with; carry on with it till your dog drops the ball they’re playing with near you:

  • If they leave it too far, then you’ll have to get a bit closer;
  • As soon as your dog drops the ball they’re playing with, draw their attention using your ball and pick up the other one;
  • Now you have both balls, so throw the one your dog dropped. At the beginning, throw it near them, and then farther and farther and wait for them to bring it back;
  • When your dog comes back with the ball, crouch down and wait for them; when they’re about to drop the ball, try to grab it without moving suddenly; then caress and praise them;
  • When you’re sure your dog knows that they have to drop the ball directly in your hand, try to gradually change your position until you can do this exercise standing on.

Both these activities should be intended like games, so try to create a happy and cheerful, not competitive atmosphere.
To reinforce training moments, you should always have a reward for your dog, a reinforcement to be used when they complete the action correctly. It can be useful having some treats, e.g. small chewy biscuits or sticks. Oasy suggests a complete range of treats for dogs, for more information click here !

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