Among the basic education or training exercises that we can do with our dog, is to teach him to bring the ball and to drop it when we ask it, so that we can throw it back if we want.
Teaching a dog to bring the ball is really simple, but teaching it to bring it and release it in our hand is another story. We will explain how we should teach our dog this simple trick.
Association and order to release the ball
Before even teaching him to go for the ball, it is very convenient to show him the ball and let him play with it for a while. It goes without saying that the balls must be of quality, since otherwise it will break them in a short time and possibly swallow pieces of it (something highly inadvisable).
When our dog is familiar with the ball, we should give it to him to hold it with his mouth and congratulate him. Then we will put our open hand next to the mouth to let the ball go and we will give the order to “give it to me” or “let go”.
When he releases it we must congratulate him a lot and give him some prize, a dog biscuit or a piece of sausage, we must use the positive reinforcement to associate that releasing the ball at our command is a good thing that has a reward.
If the dog does not release the ball, we should not try to take it away because then he will understand that he is doing well by biting it hard. We must insist over and over again until he gives us the ball, without losing his cool and with great patience, if after fifteen minutes he does not give it to us, we can try to bribe him with little food and when he releases the ball congratulate him.
Some dogs learn in a single day and others in two or three weeks, you just have to have a little patience and be consistent, practicing a little every day.
Teach him to bring the ball and drop it at our command
Once we have mastered the previous step, it is time to practice the game of throwing and bringing the ball. For this, it is best to go to an open field or dog park (preferably without dogs to be able to educate ours without distractions).
We will teach the ball to our dog and move it a bit, provoking him to bite it but without letting him do it. Then we will throw it away and give it the “search” or “take it” command.
Our dog does not think about a game but that the ball is like a moving prey, so it will run towards it until it catches it. When he does, we should call him and ask him to sit in front of us, give him the order to drop the ball and when he does, give him an award and congratulations.
If the dog does not return, we will catch a second ball identical to the first and when the dog has caught the first we will call him and show him the second. He will come to try to catch it too, when he does we will give him the order to sit down and release the ball. If you do, we will congratulate you and give you an award.
We must throw the ball to him several times but without exceeding ourselves, leaving him time between ball and ball so that he rests and nibbles a bit on the ball, that he enjoy it. This game is not for exercising our dog, it is for fun for a while.
If we observe that our dog shows white foam in his mouth, we must stop the game and give him a little water to cool down. The white foam is usually saliva, giving water little by little so that it does not feel bad, it will disappear.
The rubber balls that they sell at very cheap prices are made of a very soft foam that breaks very easily. We can buy tennis balls, which are made of hard rubber and almost unbreakable elastic. They are inexpensive and will last a long time.
We can also use small bongs with or without rope or any of your favorite toys.
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