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Discussion Starter #1
Good Morning, SInce he is still only 8 months a couple of weeks, I figured this is a puppy issue.

I take Hunter to all of Christians soccer practices, this drives Hunter ( and my Wife ) nuts, he wants the ball. I make him sit next to me, or down him. I am always saying watch me, and handing him a treat. There is an occasional outburst ( he once even busted a collar ) but he quickly collects himself. All he wants is that ball.

Last night we were at a soccer game, and a little girl approached Hunter ( as she always does) with her hand below his face, when he placed his nose in her hand, she then went to pet him. He lunged at her and gave a very aggressive type play bark and nip. Something he normally saves for bigger dogs when he is playing. I corrected, hard and heavy, but I feel this was my fault, because of his ball drive, I think he was all wound up, and this girl was a victim of my stuidity.

There were no marks on her at all, but he scared the S**T out of her.

I guess I have already answered my own thought/question here, he shouldnt be going to anymore games or practice..I will not tolerate that behavior from him. The whole reason I was taking him was to teach him to ignore certain things until told otherwise, I think this may be to much for him.
 

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Have you tried giving him his own tennis ball? My male shepherd is very ball driven you give him a tennis ball and it is all about that ball. If you give him his own ball he can carry it around and focus on it and not the soccer ball. I bet yours will enjoy his ball and plus you can toss it for him occasionally and that will make his day.
 

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I wouldn't stop taking him there for the socialization...maybe stay back a further distance and gradually work your way closer to the "action". Work on some commands and offer lots of treats and praise when he is able to focus. He is very young, a baby still....he's just excited. Kepp working with him in the situation....I would want me to take him there more. How lucky you are to have such a wonderful way to socialize him and surround him with all the noises and people.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He has many balls. But no, I have taken none to the soccer field with me.. His favorite is a Jolly ball, about 12" in height, and made of plastic.. He will spend all day playing and chasing that ball, by himself. We have now taken him down to a 1/2 hour to an hour day because of his constant "talking" to the ball. I think it is fun to listen to, but am worried about what the neighbors think.
 

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I agree with Renee, to remove him totally won't help him work thru it, but bring him and keep him at more of a distance. I also agree with bringing his own ball so he has something to do, instead of zoning in on the ball that he knows is off limits to him.
I would not let people approach him right now, let them know you are working on training if they ask. If he does an approach it is different, but he may still show reactions due to peoples body language.
Read up on reactivity, because if you don't properly manage this now, you will have a problem in the future. I think many pups start this at about 8 months, so management is key right now. There are soo many threads on it, unfortunately.
 

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Why not bring his own soccer balls to the game to chew on? And just make sure you are aware of where other people are. You did err because if you know how ramped up he can be, you shoudln't be letting little kids get near him. Even if it wasn't a nip out of frustration not being able to get to the ball, he could have easily knocked her over or something. You'll never get over his obsession if you don't bring him, I would just find ways to redirect him. I think brining his very own soccer ball might be a big help. Kind of interact with him, bounce it, etc while the game is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Why not bring his own soccer balls to the game to chew on? And just make sure you are aware of where other people are. You did err because if you know how ramped up he can be, you shoudln't be letting little kids get near him. Even if it wasn't a nip out of frustration not being able to get to the ball, he could have easily knocked her over or something. You'll never get over his obsession if you don't bring him, I would just find ways to redirect him. I think brining his very own soccer ball might be a big help. Kind of interact with him, bounce it, etc while the game is going on.

I have never had him ramp up on a person before, but you are right as to I know how excited he is with a ball..My whole reason for having him there was for the meeting of people.. That was why I didnt bring a ball at first.. see, sounds like i blew it in every direction..

So. bring his own ball..most likely a tennis ball, this way he doesnt knock his jolly bal onto the soccer field.. I just cant get over the part of ot having him meet people. I want him the be the BEST repersentive of his breed that he can. To many people are already afraid of him, I dont want the one person who takes the chance, to be chased away ( nor do I want them chewed on).. I dont know..
 

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I'd bring his ball and a long line. Before the game begins, go to a place in the field where it's quiet and throw the ball for him, keeping him on the long line. Burn some of that energy. Then when you go back to watch the game, let him keep his ball with him. You can do some small tosses where he catches the ball in the air staying at a sit. Use his ball to work on 'look'.

If he begins to focus on the soccer ball tell him to "leave it" (or your word of choice) and get him to re-focus on his ball by tossing it in the air to him again. My dog has a very high cat drive. I've used a tennis ball to refocus my dog when the cat starts to get a little bold.
 

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There are also tennis balls that squeak so if you need to focus his attention on you put it in your pocket and squeak it. I can't use those kind because Victor will pop them but it seems like a tennis ball is going to be the way to go for you.
 

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I have never had him ramp up on a person before, but you are right as to I know how excited he is with a ball..My whole reason for having him there was for the meeting of people.. That was why I didnt bring a ball at first.. see, sounds like i blew it in every direction..

So. bring his own ball..most likely a tennis ball, this way he doesnt knock his jolly bal onto the soccer field.. I just cant get over the part of ot having him meet people. I want him the be the BEST repersentive of his breed that he can. To many people are already afraid of him, I dont want the one person who takes the chance, to be chased away ( nor do I want them chewed on).. I dont know..
I definitely think it's a good idea to do that for the socialization, you'll just have to remember how big he's getting a 8 months old! Sometimes when a dog is a little "cracked out" as I like to call it, it just isn't a good idea to try and have people in his face with introductions. Before, after...during halftime when the ball isn't moving and he's a little less keyed up would be great.

I was reminded of this just now. I was playing tug with Elsa in the backyard and my boss called and I started talking to her. Elsa lost her grip on the toy, and I swung it around and back behind me. Of course she's PISSED (not really pissed, but super worked up) that she just lost her bounty and goes flying in the air with mouth open...and missed the tug and ended up with my hand. Luckily it was a grazing chomp and she released as soon as she realized it was my hand....but stupid me for trying to multi-task with a dog in drive...anyhow...point being we all have those "blonde moments" and we just have to be grateful, learn from them, and be smarter next time around!
 
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