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Thread: My dog wont listen when ball is around

  1. #1

    Default My dog wont listen when ball is around

    I'm after a litttle advice

    My dog loves playing with her ball. As soon as I go outside, she will come to me for a quick pat.
    Then she sprints to her ball and moves it in my direction. From this moment on, she won't act normal or listen.
    If I have the ball, She will sit or stand a few metres from me, waiting for me, to throw it. If she has the ball, she will lay next to it
    or sit next to it and won't move. Anything I say during this time gets no response. If I wait about 5 minutes, sometimes I can get her to leave the ball
    to come to me. So I praise her, give her a pat. But she will just run straight back to the ball.

    I like playing ball with her, but also want her to be calm at times while I'm outside.
    Do I just keep the ball inside unless it's time to play?

    This is all pretty new to me as I have only had her a couple of weeks. She is Kelpie x & just under 2 years old.
    The only other dog I owned didn't like playing with balls.

  2. #2


    How lucky you are. You have a dog that loves to fetch a ball. You can use this behaviour to really tire her out. Go buy a "Chuckit" and find a field where you have at least 50 meters of open ground. I reckon 10 minutes will flatten her, thats if you have a good drop or give command as well.

    Once she is really tired, put the ball away and she will not bother you whilst you are working in the garden.
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Victoria, Australia


    This is exactly how my kelpie was. Lol Let the fun times begin. For my dog, our trainer said to just go out there for literally no reason, just sit there. don't play ball she has to get used to you going out there for no reason. Even when you'r out putting the washing out. Don't play. And then when it's play time is when you say.
    No one loves you like your dog does.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Melbourne VIC


    Don't leave the ball out for her to get. Put it away somewhere and bring it out when you want her to play. Take her lead with you and use it to pause/end the game. She can't keep running back to the ball when you have her on lead.

    How is her obedience without a ball? Does she know any commands? Sit, drop, come, give, etc?
    Make sure these commands are solid before you have her ball as a HUGE distraction. Use the ball as a reward for obeying commands. Eg, sit, release, throw ball, or drop, release throw ball, or give release, throw ball. The only way she gets to play is if she does what you command first and not move until you release her.

    Do you know what a release word is? If so, do you have a release word?

    It would also be beneficial to teach her "leave it".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    SE QLD


    Harley is very much the same. He looooves his ball and if he can't find it he will try and find a ball substitute and constantly puts it on your lap waiting for you to throw it or pretends he is going to give it up but then quickly moves away before you grab it. I would just put the ball away until you want to play.

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    mine was the same. He'd retrieve things non stop. Even when i was taking a nap, id wake up to being covered in sticks.
    How we put a stop to this was consistency.
    I ONLY throw balls on certain parts of our walk. I never throw things in the home or in the garden. After 3 months he eventually stopped bringing me things.

    However, when my son comes, he switches back into ball throwing mode, as my son breaks the rule. consistently and whinges "how come he doesnt pester you?". Dogs are real smart, they know when a behaviour is not being rewarded, eventually.

    Bernie is a dog that cant leave my side unless i throw something for him to leave my side for. So i used a rabbit laden area to distract him from the ball. It meant he could run and chase, hunt. And for that paddock only, he will leave me and be a dog once more.

    Stop rewarding the ball behaviour, and put the ball away when you are around.
    or swap the ball for a basket ball. They are much harder to fetch lol

    It can be used as a positive. 100% recalls 'just in case' someone wants to throw something. I use his ball as his reward in training. Ball obsessed dogs have pluses. You have a constant invisible leash on your dog. My dog cant see other dogs when i have a ball in my hand.
    Last edited by bernie; 07-12-2012 at 07:15 AM.

  7. #7


    Thanks for the replies everyone

    I forgot to mention this all takes place in the backyard, not in the park.
    The only reason I don't want to take the ball away, is that she likes to play with it sometimes while I'm inside.
    Should I leave toys in the yard which aren't round?

    Yesterday, I actually got her to bring the ball back four times in a row & And drop it in exchange for a treat.
    She hadn't seemed to care for any treats before this.

    At the moment she will sit & come most of the time.
    I don't have a release word.

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