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Discussion Starter #1
My GSD that is 8 months old and getting quite large is obsessed with her chuckit ball and launcher. She loves them. How do I know if she is in danger of swallowing a ball? We have the medium sized ball and launcher. She can fit the whole ball in her mouth and she is chopping on it the whole time she is bringing it back to me. Sometimes it pops out of her mouth, being a rubber ball that is slippery with saliva. I fear it may accidentally shoot back into her throat. Should I get the larger sized ball? She is going to be a large GSD when she is done growing.
 

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If in doubt, get the larger ball.

For what it's worth, I really doubt too many dogs are capable of swallowing a medium-sized chuckit. It's much too resilient to being squished, and will take its original shape (ie. "inflated") the second pressure is released, so it will simply not fit down the throat.

My friends' boxer did swallow a rubber ball, but that thing could have been folded flat by a newborn, and was no larger than 1.5inches in diameter when fully inflated. Very different toy.
 

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I give 10 internetz to the flying squirrel and the tri-lobed thing. In Grendel's world I'm trying to ID it as "jax" 'cuz that's what it looks like to me, even though it's flat.

Anyway, if you're worried about the balls being too small, try those two things. They probably don't fly as far as the launcher balls, but good enough for us. They are NOT chew toys, but seem to be holding up quite well as fetch things. They don't get too slobbery and can be washed in the sink with regular dishsoap.
 

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I use a chuck it every day since I can't do a lot of walking at the moment (bad foot). I use the ultra size balls ... no danger of being swallowed. I would definitely go to that size if I were you. A GSD has a huge gullet.
 

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I know of a gsd that choked to death on the medium sized ball.They are too slippery to grab hold of and dislodge when stuck.Definitely get a larger size.
 

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I switched to the size large chuckit ball for the same reason. We hadn't had a problem but I didn't want to keep worrying about it. Someone at the dog park we go to daily (gasp! ;) ) knew of a dog that swallowed, choked and died on a too small ball. I went to the extra large size initially but it seemed too large to be comfortable, though I was purely speculating. Just seemed like his jaw was held too wide open for the extra large size. fwiw.
 

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Chuck Its split. I found my dog trying to pull one off of his jaw after it split a little and he enlarged the opening. It was stuck on his teeth. I had to calm him down and work it off while he was struggling. I threw it out. Otherwise, I used to give them to my enormous male and he never swallowed one. I used the medium because they were the same size as tennis balls and more durable. Or you can get the Chuck It rope toy and throw that. It bounces but you can't lose it as easily. I've lost Chuck It balls before and it gets expensive.
Robot Check

Or the Ultra
Robot Check
 

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A ball the size of a tennis ball is a hazard for a gsd. These can go in their throat pretty easily - even with a string attached, I'd go for a larger ball.
 

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A ball the size of a tennis ball is a hazard for a gsd. These can go in their throat pretty easily - even with a string attached, I'd go for a larger ball.
Agreed. They don't have to swallow it to suffocate. Go with the larger size. I use the smaller ones for puppies only.
 

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Balls aren't meant to be chewers. If the dog is chasing a ball, bringing it back and dropping it, it won't choke. I'm trying to get away from the idea that my dogs will chew on a ball for hours.
 

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If the dog is chasing a ball, bringing it back and dropping it, it won't choke.
That is a risky statement. Especially the hard Kong balls,with their smooth surface are a risk. I don't use them, not even the large ones, unless there is a rope threaded through it.. The larger chuck it balls are safer I think or some with an irregular surface.
 

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Luv,
That's a nice thought but... a fellow at our club had an incident with his dog that nearly died from a ball caught in his throat. The ball did have a string but the string was down the throat. Himlic maneuver dislodged the ball. There was no way he could have got the dog to the vet in time for help. He had to do it himself.
So be careful of the size of the ball, make sure it has a string attached firmly and watch it.
 

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I don't allow my dog to just carry the ball around when we're outside either. The chuck its are used for specific play and then put away. I still have both of the balls I first purchased (have a third tucked away if I ever have to replace one). They're probably a couple of years old now. His favorite is the glow in the dark ball which actually has a couple of good sized holes in it like a whiffle ball. That one I will be replacing in the next few months as it finally has a small tear. It's a softer material than the orange kong though and gives him no problems. Even on their smooth surface dirt/grit can accumulate so I don't want more wear and tear on their teeth than can be helped --- so no keeping the chuck its.

His go to grab when out is a deflated basketball.
 

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I prefer the planet dog ultra. It is a "little" loose in the large chuckit but I like the ball better --picks up less dirt, seems less slick.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I really appreciate all the replies to this. Common sense tells me to just go ahead and get the larger sized balls so I will quit worrying. I don't ever leave the ball with her to chew on. It is only for playing fetch and then it is put away. But, like I said, these get thrown quite far. While coming back to me, she is chomping down on the ball vigorously and she could get it caught in the throat if it would slip too far back. She absolutely loves these. I hope she loves the large ones as well. I will be ordering the large sized launcher and balls today. Thanks again everyone. I think this was a really important discussion.
 

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My dog Cash died when his tennis-ball sized ball went down his windpipe while playing fetch. I couldn't retrieve it and watched him suffocate to death. Get the bigger ball.
 
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