Buzz and his favorite chuck-it ball share a special kind of bond which has developed over the past 2 years (he is 4.5 years old now). He began to be interested in balls & frisbees when he was several months old, but it actually took him quite some time to get the whole fetch thing…which he has now mastered! He catches 99% of all balls thrown his way, and can do some crazy jumps in order to get to his ball.
Playing Fetch With The Chuck-It Ball
Playing fetch is Buzz’s number one way of exercising. We play fetch several times throughout the day in our yard – after our morning walk, when I come home from my dog walking visits in the afternoon (I’m a dog walker), and again in the evening (& whenever else we can fit it into our daily schedule, really).
I’m actually glad that Buzz prefers the natural rubber chuck-it ball over tennis balls because of the slime factor…you’ll see what I mean in the video below (if you have a K9 fetch addict, you know what I mean).
The chuck-it ball can be washed off and dried after having been used and will look brand new again (I go through that quick procedure before bringing the ball back inside)!
Besides being a wonderful means of exercise, I’ve been able to use the chuck-it ball for several other purposes:
Training Off-Leash Skills With The Ball
We quickly figured out that Buzz is kind of one-track minded as far as his ball is concerned. My husband brought him along to his football practice a few months ago and was able to let him run off-leash and play fetch with him no problem. All Buzz wanted to do was run after the ball, bring it back to Ian, and wait for him to throw it again.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
We would never be able to do this with Missy, however – while her polite off-leash walking skills have improved tremendously with the use of a Ruffwear backpack, she loves to explore way too much in order to be trusted on an open field such as the one in the video.
I wrote about working on Missy’s off-leash skills last week: The Key to Polite Off-Leash Walking: A Valuable Lesson Learned
Buzz also gets to come along on my daily trips to the mailbox – off-leash, focusing on his chuck-it ball. Missy also gets to come along every now & then, but is secured to a 50 ft leash that’s attached to a front porch column.
She’s never tried to take off while on the long leash, but I’m not willing to chance it. She’d be the first to go chasing after a squirrel or cat within her sight.
You can see her being motivated by Dr. Harvey’s Sweet Potate’r Chews to stay next to Ian while getting the mail in the video below.
Getting Buzz To Swim
Buzz’s sister Missy loves the water as much as Buzz loves his chuck-it ball. Buzz, on the other hand, didn’t use to be a fan of that wet stuff…until the day his ball ended up in a doggie pool, and he didn’t think twice about going after it to retrieve it.
Side note: Another benefit of the chuck-it ball is that is floats 🙂
Which brings me to the point I wanted to make in this post: Every dog has a different motivator. Some dogs will do anything for a high-value treat, some are in love with a frisbee or ball, and others anticipate a nice belly or chest rub after a job well done.
Finding out what motivates your dog(s) will make training less frustrating and more fun, and the bond between you stronger!
What’s your pup’s all-time favorite motivator? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!