A reader writes:
First of all, I’d like to thank you for your blog. My fiance calls it my “scottie porn”, but the truth is that your blog has been quite helpful and inspiring over the last few years.
We’re hoping that some of your readers will be able to help us out. We have a 1 year old brindle boy named Dougan. He’s quite obedient (for a Scottie), does well on walks, and loves playing soccer in our fenced yard. We’ve tried very hard to socialize him properly; he has doggie playmates in the neighborhood that he loves to chase and wrestle. And even when we meet new dogs on neighborhood walks, he’ll wrestle and play with them. Sounds great, right?
Here’s the problem: tennis ball. Dougan loves fetch like no other Scottie loves fetch. It’s especially a problem at dog parks, where Dougan ignores other dogs attempts to wrestle and play and focuses on owners with tennis balls (who will gladly throw a ball for such a cute boy to retrieve). We’ve tried leaving the tennis ball at home, but then he steals balls from other (bigger) dogs and, in turn, protects “his” ball from them.
How can I go about training this obsession with tennis balls out of him? We can play fetch at home; at the dog park I’d like to convince him to play with others. But there will always be tennis balls around to distract him.
The Scottie News can sympathize. Bridget is also ball obsessed and, to put it nicely, protective of any ball that’s her own or she feels should be her own. But what she goes most crazy for are those ball launchers. She will grab on to them and not let go. She’s been lifted several feet off the ground in the ensuing launcher tug of wars and has to be leashed up any time there’s a launcher in sight.
If anyone’s successfully dealt with ball and/or launcher OCD, the Scottie News would love to hear how you did it.