Teaching Summer to play ball
Ok, so... I want to teach Summer to play ball. Just to let you know where we are starting from:
- Less than a year ago, Summer was afraid of all toys. She would hide/leave if you would pick them up.
- She was especially wary of tennis balls and I honestly think it's because Mia and I play ball so wild indoors. She's ok outdoors but I think the throwing the ball at the walls so it bounces everywhere indoors (Mia loves that) is too much for her.
Now Summer will play sorta. She has a bunny fur tug that she likes. She's kind of.... interesting playing in that I still cannot get her to grab it. She will mouth at it and hit it with her front paws and jump after it but will not pick it up or tug on it yet.
She likes it enough that I can ramp her up and even reward her some with it in agility. Also, I was looking back at pictures and noticed:
babysummer by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr
This is exactly what she does now! Jumps up and bats at it with her feet. She has a real aversion to putting anything in her mouth.
So here's where we are with the ball:
I have got her to where she will follow it in my hand. She is happy when I pull the ball out and will get excited and try to touch it (paws mostly, some nosing and minor nibbles). If the ball is stationary on the ground she will go and target it with her paws and will eventually lay down on top of it (no idea). If I gently roll the ball, she will follow it/chase it (it's a little slow to call a chase yet). But when the ball stops rolling, she is turning around to me looking for a treat. I was clicking her chasing it but that of course is ending the behavior.
Where would you go from here? I definitely have made strides from 'scared of the ball' to where she is now. She still does not like it if the ball is bounced.
honestly, I just really want to see where we can go. I don't need a ball playing dog but I like seeing Summer having fun.
Hank - (approx. 1 1/2 year old Spotty Dog)
Mia CGC - (6 1/2 year old Papillon)
Summer TG3 TIAD - (11 year old Papillon)