Balls-on-strings? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Balls-on-strings?

I have three balls-on-strings for Nikon. I'm wondering what exactly other people do with these? Right now he's not as interested in fetching them. I want him to have ball drive but I've read sometimes that doesn't kick in quite yet. He will fetch and retrieve his baby Cuz so that's good. Mainly I use the larger ball on the longer string (need the distance between his teeth and my fingers!) and just sort of drag it around or swing it in the air. He jumps and snaps at it, often it bounces of his nose which gets him more worked up. If he gets a good grip on it, we do some tugging. I've seen people use them for heeling by holding it in their armpit. I tried that and he seemed to think that was a pretty swell idea but does jump and bite at it sometimes. If I drop it though he doesn't really see it as a reward b/c it's just lying their dead, he wants me to be whipping it around.

How do you use yours?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 01:16 PM
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Re: Balls-on-strings?

Tug, as well. Mine will run around the yard with the string part in his mouth, ball thwacking him in the face with every leap -- doesn't seem to faze him.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 01:53 PM
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Re: Balls-on-strings?

It took Brady a while but I think he was 5-6 months maybe younger
and OMG he is obsessed to the point when we play he runs into things like cars, house bushes nick name Boo Boo boy.
Now we have to take the ball away and he has serious ball drive

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 02:14 PM
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Re: Balls-on-strings?

We buy tennis balls and drill holes in them so that we can put a leather strap thru it to hold on to so that dogs like Pandora won't put their teeth into our hands like she has done before. Sometimes ball drive comes later and then watch out.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 02:21 PM
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Re: Balls-on-strings?

You know, I have to laugh each time I read one of your posts about Nikon and anything drive or schh related. You sound so much like I did with Flash at that age! I was completely clueless. I know a little more now but for the most part am still clueless. He's what, about 4 or so months old now? Personally, I wouldn't even worry about balls on string at this point, just rags/tugs. You don't HAVE to use a ball on string for your formal obedience, tugs work just as well and they have many benefits over a ball. And I certainly wouldn't worry about fussing yet. I'd be doing nothing but securing his drives, encouraging barking, and promoting striking behavior and grip. Backtie, backtie, backtie. It would be excellent if you could get him to start barking to make the rag/tug move, barking=things happen. The thing is you want him to interact WITH you and having him simply fetch the ball is not doing that. Tug is interacting with you. And don't worry, both Pancho and Flash were late fetch bloomers but they wanted to go all day long when they got older. Also, I wouldn't do too much with him right now. If he's not already teething, he will be shortly. He's also a puppy so just let him be a puppy, there are more important things a puppy should be doing than schutzhund. Puppyhood only happens once. Flash didn't start protection work until our first seminar at nearly 15 months old. He didn't start fussing until just shy of 17 months. I know you're having a hard time finding someone to help you out. And because you don't need to be doing a lot with him right now, you can get away with a weekend trip to visit a good trainer so they can show you the ropes. Then you don't have to make that trip again for several months. That's what I did. Now we seem to be making trips every other weekend. :P

Of course my typical disclaimer: I'm a n00b so take it with a grain of salt. Internet training is never a good idea.

The German Shepherd's faults are faults of education not nature, for if someone worked with him he would be blissfully happy and most obedient of all dogs. - Max von Stephanitz
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 02:29 PM
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Re: Balls-on-strings?

Otto had one of those from 8 weeks until just the other day when he devastated it. I was doing the same thing, twirl it around play a little tug. I don't think he ever played with the ball, just the string and the flags. Otto loves his tennis ball too, sometimes he has 3 of them going at the same time one in the mouth and one under each front paw.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 02:38 PM
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Re: Balls-on-strings?

Lies,

Xargos loves that ball! I move it on the ground / floor in an 8 figure, and he goes for the string! Then we play tug with it!

Tanya

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Balls-on-strings?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: jesusica. I'd be doing nothing but securing his drives, encouraging barking, and promoting striking behavior and grip. Backtie, backtie, backtie. It would be excellent if you could get him to start barking to make the rag/tug move, barking=things happen. The thing is you want him to interact WITH you and having him simply fetch the ball is not doing that. Tug is interacting with you.
That must be it, then. For some reason he finds the Cuz self-rewarding (must be the consistency of the material and the squeak), but besides chewing something that's the only toy he's interested on his own. He LOVES to tug so we have a gazillion different things for that (it's getting hard to find hiding places for all his tugs!). When he was tiny I didn't backtie him but held onto his harness with one hand and started flipping the rag with the other and he goes NUTS. He definitely will NOT have any issues with the barking and getting the tug or whatever to start going. He barks at everything, everyone, every dog. The only time it really bothers me is at the pet store. It takes us several minutes to make it inside b/c he barks nonstop and despite his fuzzy hair and cute looks he already has a bark that puts Kenya's to shame. People are scared of him! He already has tried barking at ME to get me to do things. His newest thing is doing the "platz" when he wants something. Instead of barking (which took all of 2 tried to put on cue at 10 weeks) he now slams his front legs into a platz and stares at me. If I don't respond he ducks his head down and presses it on the floor like "look mom I'm REALLY doing the flattest platz I can!"

I have given up on finding a really good helper for now, the weather has taken a turn for the worst and we are so busy so like you say, I'm just playing with him and doing what he seems to enjoy the most, whatever gets him the most worked up. We'll just tug and tug and tug until the spring!

I love this ball-on-string toy but I gotta say all the really bad chomps he's given me have been with this toy. I think sometimes he's actually going for the little handle at the end of the string! I like it for wearing him out b/c it's harder for him to latch on (it's a big ball and bounces off his nose) so he gets a workout chasing and leaping at it and I don't have to exert as much energy tugging back. I'm just not sure if there was a specific purpose for this toy or not.

He's not teething quite yet but it's coming soon, not looking forward to that, lol.
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