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Possessive dog, wont give up his ball for anything

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by stantheman, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. stantheman

    stantheman PetForums Newbie

    Jul 23, 2009
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    I have a 7 year old male weimaraner who we got as a rescue dog about 8 months ago. Generally, he is a lovely, well behaved, good natured dog who gets on well with other people and dogs.

    When he wants to play, he will bring you his ball, put it on your lap and sit waiting patiently for you to play with him. However when you go outside and play, you generally get one good throw then as soon as he gets his jaws on it that is it. He will place his ball on the ground and stand over it ready to grab it if you come within about a foot of it.

    This then becomes a tedious and frustrating game of you trying to get as close as you can to the ball and pick it up without setting him off and causing him to grab it, which he almost always does, and drop it again to repeat the whole process. Very rarely he will let you take it, but only if you are lucky and something distracts him.

    It usually ends up with me trying to wrench the ball out of his mouth, which is no easy task, and he usually comes out victorious by trashing his head around and making it impossible to keep hold. This probably isn't a good idea as it makes him think he's the boss when it comes to the ball.

    I am at the end of my tether, and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

    Apr 15, 2009
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    Have you tried teaching the "leave it" command?

    Try with something low value to him, and work your way up to the ball. When he leaves what ever it is, reward him with a treat.

    You can also try swapping the ball for another one of equal value to him.

    Sounds like its just a game to him, and training is the way around it.
  3. I have two weimys! one displays exactly the sae behavior as yours (that one was rescued also) The other loves ball and will happily bring it back allday (had her from a pup and she was well socialized and taught to play).

    Does your guy actually like playing ball? strange! but some don't you know! does his display this behaviour with other items i'e tea towels and bowls? etc!
    sounds to me as if he prefers the game of tug far better then the game of fetch!
  4. Dundee

    Dundee Banned

    Oct 20, 2008
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    Ah, but I bet it's not tedious and frustrating for him - in fact, he's trained you to join in with a game he's made up and finds fun ;).

    I would avoid trying to wrench it out of his mouth as this will either become another game, or a battle of wills. Instead, teach him what you want him to do. Teach him to hold it on command and teach him to give it on command. Teach it at home and then progress to doing it outside. I wouldnt take him out with his ball until he has learnt what you want him to do. With any training, repetition is key and will the learned behaviour. That goes just as much for good behaviour as bad, so if he is doing something that you don't want, then don't give him the opportunity to do it.
  5. rona

    rona Guest

    I had this problem with Alfie at the beginning, quite a bit of the time we didn't play retrieve. I spent a lot of time with two balls just swapping one for the other until he was happy and willing to bring to hand
  6. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

    Nov 23, 2008
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    I had this problem with my friends rottweiler who I was looking after. To get him to drop it (you don;t mess with a 10 stone rottie!), I would distract him with a treat and then get him to do a command like sit, and then reward him. That way he doesn't link the treat to not dropping the ball. However, this was a temporary fix and the dog was not permenant.

    The idea of teaching it to leave by using lower value items is a good one x:)
  7. AWPhoto

    AWPhoto PetForums Newbie

    Jul 18, 2009
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    I was going to say something similar, try not giving into his command to play and you decide when he gets to play ball with you. Try playing when he is tired or before you feed him. That way he will have to give the toy up before he gets fed. Thy can't hold onto the ball and eat at the same time.

  8. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

    Mar 7, 2009
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    I totaly agree with nonnies post, he has to know there is an advantage to giving something up. first try, when he puts the ball down walk away from him and the ball totally ignoring him, i would imagine he will grab the ball follow you and drop the ball again when/if he does this ignore and walk away again, it sounds as though this behaviour is part of "the" game he has to be made to see that you are not going to play "that" game. Try both the these ideas and ime sure he will get the message.

    Does he play with a tennis ball if not swap it for a tennis ball, when he stands over the ball get a tennis ball out offer it while going to pick the original ball up, i have yet to meet a dog that is ball driven not to prefer a tennis ball, and when trying the treat method make sure its a type of treat he only gets at this time cheese, sausage, chicken. Good luck keep us posted with how you get on.
  9. CheekoAndCo

    CheekoAndCo PetForums VIP

    Jun 17, 2009
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    Cheeko does this with any toy that there's nothing to grab onto. It's more of a game he likes to play. When I give him a toy with arms/legs and I can hold onto them he enjoys that aswell. I've tried telling him to leave/drop it but he just gets more excited and runs around like a nutter.
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