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Kippers 49


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To be honest, I wouldn't start with a ball.. For me, a ball, unless it's on a tug lead of some kind, is not particularly interactive.   I start my pups off with a soft toy (maybe on a soft lead of some kind, that I can get the pup excited about by dragging it round the floor and making it like a prey animal trying to get away.  That should get the pup interested and chasing and you can have a gentle game of tug.  Then using another soft toy or super high value treat, and holding your hand under the pup;s chin, encourage him to swap the first toy back to you for a treat, or a game with the other toy.   To start with, you can do this sitting on the floor.   Once the pup understands the basics of the game, and gets excited, then you can start a gentle throw of one toy, and encourage the pup to b ring it back and swap it.  Once the pup gets the idea of this game, s/he will start to understand that bringing one toy back gets the game going again.  If pup doesn't bring it back, just sip your coffee, look at your phone .. whatever, and wait .. you can play with the toy you have, then once the pup is intrigued enough to bring the one toy back, it's game on again.   Keep it short, excited and frequent .. and don't leave these toys around for pup to amuse himself with.   They are special for playing with you.


Reasons I don't play ball with my dogs … I want to be more to my pups than a ball launcher .. you can get a machine for that.  And also, chasing balls, particularly when thrown with a Chuckit type ball thrower .. is placing the dog at risk of injuries .. subtle at first if you're lucky, but maybe worse and more expensive, like a weakened or torn cruciate ligament.

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Like Tassiee, I would start with a big soft toy not a ball.  Start in the house, in the passage.  All doors shut so he cannot escape..  sit on the floor and get the pup interested in the toy, then throw a short distanc (1 meter ) and en courage the pup to go after it and as soon as he goes to pick it up, call him back in an excited voice and welcome him with enthusiasm.  Do not immediately take the prize (toy). Play with the pup and toy for a while and only then,ask him to give it to you .   Start all over again.

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