Variety is the spice of life, and just like us, puppies and dogs will get bored doing the same thing day in day out. You will soon learn that there are certain types of games that your dog enjoys more than others – often this will relate to his breed, and what “type” of dog he is.
See if you recognize your dog here:
The Ball Hog – is obsessed with fetching and chasing just about anything. Often come from breeds that work with their mouth, such as retrievers and gun dogs.
The Athlete – has endless energy to burn – will run all day. Often dogs from herding or hunting breeds
The Nose Dog – loves nothing more than following his nose around and around. Often from breeds used to track scent, such as hounds, beagles
The Couch Potato – is the master of the “do we have to?” look, just love sitting in front of the fire Examples include greyhounds, basset hounds, and bulldog.
The Diggy Dog – just loves to dig and dig. Often also like to chase small animals, usually breeds such as terriers, or the dachshund.
The Smart Cookie – bored easily and loves to learn new things. Often from a breed used to performing work, such as herding livestock
This week we will feature the Ball Hog. Watch for the next one next week or let us know which one you like to see next.
In general, dogs love to have a morning and evening exercise session, with at least one session being dedicated to aerobic exercise. This is best performed in a fenced (safe) off lead area and can include running or playing with other dogs, swimming, playing fetch etc. If there is no safe area where your dog can be off lead, running beside a jogger or cycler are also good aerobic exercises for dogs. (But remember, as mentioned earlier, not for puppies!) Always ensure your dog is safe from traffic if biking or rollerblading with him.
You can even train a dog to run on a treadmill if he is confined to an apartment or small house. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins, which will have health benefits for your dog as well as have a calming effect on his behaviour.
The Ball Hog:
Loves fetching and chewing on toys. May be prone to nipping, chewing and play biting. Generally from a breed that works with his mouth, such as a retriever. Examples include Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Border Collies, English Springer Spaniels.
Great for athletic mouthy dogs. Ensure that you get a Frisbee designed just for dogs, with padded edges that will not injure his mouth. You can even join a club or compete with other dogs! Frisbee dog Video
This activity combines a hurdle race with retrieving a ball – see a great Aussie video example
This is a game that combines various sports such as basketball, soccer and rugby. It uses a large ball (about the size of a soccer ball) and the aim is for the people (usually played with 2 –3 humans) to score by putting the ball under the dog´s belly and through the legs. The dog aims to stop this by getting the ball before it goes through the legs. Hectic and fun! designed for the larger sized ball hog! Or you can try with a small ball. Belly Ball video.
A classic favourite and a great way for your dog to get all the exercise he needs without you having to do too much running yourself. Make sure you have an appropriate fetch toy for your dog that will not injure his mouth or get stuck in his throat – avoid sticks and small balls such as tennis balls for most dogs, as these can lodge behind the jaw and block the dog´s airway. Balls on a rope, rope toys, specific throw toys and Frisbees are all fine.
Ball dogs usually love to swim, so taking your game of fetch to the water is often a fun variation for warmer weather. Be careful that your dog doesn’t get out of his depth and ensure you have a throw toy that floats! Provide your dog with a box of chew toys that he can carry around and gnaw on – this will be much appreciated!
Let us know what other activity your Ball Hog likes to do