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My 10 month GSD has a ball obsession, and its gotten out of hand. She ignores other dogs at the dog park (she isn't possessive or aggressive she just doesn't pay attention to the other dogs) and she pesters anyone that throws the ball for her once, and will follow that person around the whole time. if i let her, she would fetch all Day until she rolls over and passes out. I've tried the "leave it" command and it hasn't worked at all, and its unrealistic to ask everyone at the dog park not to fetch for her. She knows I won't throw it for her, so she goes and stalks someone else until they throw it. Do you think letting her have a ball around the house at all times will help? I was thinking that she'd become bored with it, but I feel like it could make things worse. I know its good that she likes to fetch, but its become such a big problem i know i need to do something about it. What would you recommend? I've heard it all with the "leave it" and other commands, and they just won't work. Please give me your input, thanks!


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My brother in law has a dog just like your describing, but I honestly rather have a dog with ball obsession than anything ells!
 

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Use that ball drive to your advantage and train with her. Why deal with a dog park when you can engage with your dog?!
Are you in any structured classes or sport with her?
 

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I would also take advantage of training with that ball.
 

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WD is like that when he went to dog parks when he was younger. He never fought with other dogs over it and sometimes let the other dog have the ball and used it to play chase with each other. He also fetched balls for other dog owners. He can spot a fetch came from a good distance. I love his ball obsession as he is less likely to get into trouble with other dogs. You could have worse problems. Have fun with her.
WD has outgrown the dog parks and is perfectly happy with a couple of good doggy friends. On these outings I don't take toys with me.
 

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Your dog is more interested in interacting with you and other humans than with other dogs. That is the preferred behavior for a GSD. As others have said, use her ball drive for obedience training and later, even for dog sports. Training is not just to have a well behaved dog it is also to have fun for both the dog and you.
 

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Not all dogs are interested in playing with other dogs. I'd much rather have a ball-obsessed dog than a dog-obsessed dog. Seems like a perfect temperament. Just wants to play with you, ignores other dogs, is not possessive over his balls.

Bring your chuckit to the dog park and play with her. Or rather, take her to some other open area to play ball - she may not be possessive or aggressive over her balls, but other dogs might be, and you don't want to start a fight!

Owners of performance dogs spend a lot of time and effort in fostering and developing this kind of focus on the owner and playing. Your dog has it naturally! Not something to complain about, but something to be pleased about.
 

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Count your blessings! THAT is the dog most of us want--- not a social butterfly with other dogs!!!!

Just make sure you only play with it outside or she will be spitting balls at you in the house all the time.
 

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your dog is more interested in interacting with you and other humans than with other dogs. That is the preferred behavior for a gsd. As others have said, use her ball drive for obedience training and later, even for dog sports. Training is not just to have a well behaved dog it is also to have fun for both the dog and you.
yes, yes & yes!
 

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My 4 month old GSD is fanatic about retrieving balls and discs. He was doing it from the first day I got him at 8 weeks. He runs full throttle in the house or off leash outside. I have been using two discs or balls exactly the same. He will chase and return the ball and immediately drop the ball at my feet that is when I through the second one. I also taught him how to catch a ball. I first started with a bounce and then worked my way to throwing it directly to him in the air. My only regret is teaching him how to catch the ball. The problem is he now jumps and turns in awkward positions to catch the disk. So I switched back to the ball to minimize impacts to joints.

As far as what I do with the balls or disks I only break them out for serious play. I say “Play Time” when I start playing and “Take a Break” when I am done. I avoid running him out to exhaustion. I recommend that you don’t leave the balls out or discs. For the following reasons: Just like jocoyn said he will bring a ball to you inside drop it and possibly sit (what Sylar does when I don’t release the second ball right away). This is when I would reward him by throwing a ball. Sylar has done this before when he has found a ball inside that I failed to collect. I believe rewards should be consistent. Another reason is that he loves the discs and balls and looks eagerly forward to retrieve and I want to keep his interest in these toys high. I also play chase with the disc where I run with the discs and have him chase me across the fields. Finally the disc and balls I use aren’t sturdy chew toys. Like many said there is many advantages to having a dog with strong ball drive that can be used for training.

On a final note I had a black lab, Vader, that also loved to retrieve. He always would carry the ball in his mouth and drop them at friends and strangers to play when at a park. My lab had good ball drive. However, my GSD runs like his life depends on it. And I want to keep his interest high with the ball that is why I don’t leave it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well at home I don't mind if she has the ball, and I do take advantage of her love of fetching outside of the dog park, my main concern is at the dog park. Just yesterday at the dog park she (sneakily) tried to take a ball that was close to a boxer, (whom she had played with earlier) but the boxer full on attacked her over it and she was rolled on her back screaming and a ton of people had to help me stop the fight. She's not aggressively possessive with the balls, and she's very submissive to other dogs. The whole incident shook me up, and that's one of my concerns when it comes to the dog park. The obedience class I take her to just say to teach her commands like "not now" or "leave it" but I've tried them and they don't work, let alone its difficult to follow her around so closely the whole time


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If her interest is in the ball and not the other dogs, is there some place other than the dog park you can take her?
 
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