Dogs … choosing a ball

Fact: my dog Eva has an OCD for projectiles.

She is not just a dog liking a ball, she is mental for them. You could throw a ball or frisbee or anything all day long for her. If you go in the garden she will follow you everywhere dropping a ball or anything else she can find that could be thrown and fetched, at your feet. She has no regard for her surroundings- she is totally focused on that ball. If you threw it out of a window, or under a bus she’d go for it. Remember the dog scene in ‘There’s something about Mary’? that’s Eva.

So which type of ball is best?

  • Tennis ball? (1) I used to buy her tennis balls. Seems like a good idea, they are with those ‘throwers’ – which are brilliant, but Don’t use a tennis ball! Eva’s teeth are now half worn down! Grit and sand in the fuzzy surface work like sandpaper on teeth. They are too big for small dogs – their jaws practically have to dislocate to pick them up. Other thing – they don’t collapse when you tread on them – ankle injury just waiting to happen!!
  • Squeaky toy? (2) Good, but the squeak adds an extra layer of frenzy. After all, the ball throwing ritual is in fact replacing the chase of prey, so that squeaky toy is like a rabbit or mouse or rat squeaking in panic, and after a number of throws, that toy is likely to become shredded in frenzy. Not good, you will have lost any control you might have over your dog!
  • Hollow ball (3) this for me is the winner! You can keep throwing it until it’s half destroyed (see below)- it still gets a good distance. When you tread on it, you won’t turn your ankle
  • Compact ball (4) Great for bounce and distance! When it starts breaking up it becomes unpredictable when it bounces – so adds a great layer of excitement. Bad for choking, bits fall off as the surface gets broken up with bites and impact damage. And when your dog starts into the frenzy, it makes a right mess. Bad for treading on, it can give you a bad twist.
  • Anything else ball shaped (5). Whatever it is, it will get chewed and eventually destroyed so bear that in mind!