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Old 03-25-2013, 04:57 PM
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Cali Mae Cali Mae is offline
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Default Can a "bad experience" ruin a game for a dog?

I'm thinking she'll be playing fetch again tomorrow, but here's the story:

Cali and I were playing a game of fast-paced fetch with her kong ball, I usually count down from three and either throw or roll it off into the other room. This time around, I threw it a bit too low and Cali was in the crossfire. The ball ended up hitting her in the face, and she responded by yelping out and proceeding to look like she was going to hate me forever... either she got hit right in the eye, or she was giving me a massive stink eye, probably a mix of both.

She showed no interest in the ball after despite having been super into it before the little incident. I'm hoping that she'll forget about the whole "ordeal" and that she was being relatively dramatic about it, because I don't throw too hard to begin with... but is it possible for something like that to turn a dog off of a particular game?
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:28 PM
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Emily Emily is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali Mae View Post
I'm thinking she'll be playing fetch again tomorrow, but here's the story:

Cali and I were playing a game of fast-paced fetch with her kong ball, I usually count down from three and either throw or roll it off into the other room. This time around, I threw it a bit too low and Cali was in the crossfire. The ball ended up hitting her in the face, and she responded by yelping out and proceeding to look like she was going to hate me forever... either she got hit right in the eye, or she was giving me a massive stink eye, probably a mix of both.

She showed no interest in the ball after despite having been super into it before the little incident. I'm hoping that she'll forget about the whole "ordeal" and that she was being relatively dramatic about it, because I don't throw too hard to begin with... but is it possible for something like that to turn a dog off of a particular game?
It's totally possible, whether or not it happens depends on the dog. A softer, nervy, lower-drive dog with a low threshold for pain could definitely be turned off. OTOH a high drive dog with strong nerves and high pain threshold won't even notice.

As for Cali, it sounds like she's pretty drivey but also kinda sensitive. So I would take a break from fetch for a few days (let her forget about getting thumped) and then introduce fetch back in a low key, low pressure, super fun way. If she doesn't want to play, don't push it! Just put the ball away and try again in a few days.

Keeva had a tire jump fall on her in agility class (totally weird freak accident) and did not want to go back through it. She would run all around it, sniff it, etc, but didn't want to jump back through. So we said "Screw it!" and did some fun, successful stuff, and took a 3 wk break for any tire stuff... and three weeks later, she jumped right through.

Just don't make it a big deal and don't force the issue, and I bet that she will be just fine and playing fetch in no time.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:43 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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I've pegged Mia in the face so many times accidentally. Sometimes she doesn't notice but a couple times I think it must've hit her eye and she yelps and doesn't chase the ball. She usually recovers right away. Occasionally she's kinda slow for a couple throws then is back to normal. I wouldn't worry much at all.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:42 PM
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Katem Katem is offline
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I'm sure it's possible, depending on the specific dog's temperament/how many positive associations the dog had before the incident. But I wouldn't be too concerned. If she's still wary tomorrow I would try the same game with a different toy. If she was fine with that then it would just be a matter of reintroducing the kong ball gradually.

I can't even count the times my guys have been nailed by toys. Bear tends to prefer squishier balls like his hole-e-roller, so even if he gets hit hard it doesn't bother him. One of Pig's favorite balls is a Jive from west paw though and that thing is heavy. She'll rush right in front of the ball, get hit, snatch the ball up and keep on going though, she's a little crack monkey.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:54 PM
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Okay, thanks everyone! I just get so paranoid about these sorts of things, since, as Emily said, she is pretty darn drivey for such a small dog but she is quite sensitive... and dramatic.

I took her on a walk instead of pressing the issue, so I think we'll try a game of fetch after school tomorrow... likely outside since she enjoys it so much more compared to playing inside.
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