Let’s start this topic (this is a dividing one!).
We like giving a good workout to our dogs. Because the satisfied and tired dog is a good dog, isn’t it? I agree with that and I don’t want to change your mind about it though I ’d like to give you another point of view of this workout method and show you its effects on your dog.
I’ve seen enough injuries in my practice, hence I don’t like the way how it is done most of the time.
When we just throw the ball right after our dog jumps out of the car, the ball flies to a long distance, bouncing up and down on a hill, and we do it for a long time, maybe in a field with full of holes.
Sometimes we even have a lot of dogs running for the ball. These could give them a lot of trouble, injuries and long-term damage.
Let’s see what happens.
- High speeds can multiply the forces generated in their muscles and the most dangerous part is when they reach the ball. Or when they are running together and sometimes accidentally run into each other. Micro-trauma, shoulder and back injuries put them under stress they aren’t designed for.
- Repetitive ball chasing can lead to adrenaline and cortisol release. If you see a dog spinning around, barking and having a strange disasterous behaviour, never think they are having a joyful time with their ball.
- If you have a high drive dog, be careful, because your dog won’t show you if it was too much for him/her or if they have any pain.
- Do you know how many little bones and joints are in your dog’s carpus (wrink) and paws? Too many. And exactly that many possibilities to injure themselves. When they run after the ball and catch it their body is twisting, breaking and landing in unpredictable ways. Repeated micro-trauma is a cause of long-term damage.
What?! I can see some of you thinking "this is crazy", as this is the only game your dog likes.
So then how do you do it safely?
- Warm up your dog
- Ask your dog to sit down until you throw the ball then tell your dog to bring it back
- Hide the ball and tell your dog to find it. They really like the scent work.
They could benefit if you change your habits of playing this game with them. I’m sure your dog will love it and you’ll have less to worry about what happens inside your dog’s body.
Have fun with the new challenges!