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For a ball junkie, the ball itself is not the real problem, but the rushing and killing of the "prey". If you want to get rid of his addictive behavior, throwing another toy is not enough. The inner balance of your four-legged friend must be learned from scratch.
A ball junkie remains a ball junkie: get used to "cold withdrawal"
Dogs that have become a ball junkie can be compared to people with addiction, such as alcoholics. They can no longer learn how to use ball and baiting games in a healthy, moderate manner, and addiction behavior has gotten too out of control. A relapse into old, addictive behavior patterns must always be expected if a ball junkie has balls or other objects rushed. To leave out such games entirely in the future corresponds to a so-called cold withdrawal, which can also help alcoholics, smokers and drug addicts to get away from addiction. Ball junkies, however, do not create a physical addiction to certain substances, but rather create a psychological addiction. Fixing this is equally difficult for humans and animals - but not impossible.
Your ball addicted dog is in constant stress because he is constantly on the lookout for fast-moving objects that he can rush and is, so to speak, ready to hunt. He can no longer think of anything else, everything else is of no importance to him. This is also stressful for the keeper, since the relationship with the four-legged friend suffers from the addictive behavior, a great human-dog friendship is not possible as a result and the ball junkie has become unpredictable. The complete absence of ball and baiting games is the only way for affected dogs to come to rest and learn that there are other nice things in life than the ball.
Is your dog a ball junkie? Addictive behavior when playing
For many dog owners the thought may seem strange, their four-legged friends could be addictive ...
Dog offer alternatives to playing ball
However, the "cold withdrawal" alone is not enough to get a ball junkie out of his addictive behavior. If the ball suddenly stops and your dog has no replacement job, this will not release his stress and he will look for replacement satisfaction on his own - at worst chasing the cat from the neighbor or chasing cars and risking a traffic accident. If you want to permanently get rid of your dog's addiction to ball games in the long term, you should offer alternatives that give him joy, but do not stimulate him, but allow him to calm down. Training methods and games in which he must concentrate and use his senses, as well as tasks that strengthen the relationship with you, are ideal for this.
Also, keep in mind that dogs don't have to be fun all day - they usually rest, sleep, or doze peacefully for 18 to 20 hours a day. You don't need to keep him busy for longer than four to six hours, even less, since he also eats in between, goes for a walk or enjoys grooming. In the rest of the time, you can do nose work with him in small training units, play hidden objects and intelligence games, try out obedience training or quiet equipment work. Lunging with the dog is also a great and quiet way to improve the trust and understanding between humans and animals as well as the dog's ability to concentrate. If you feel overwhelmed with this task alone, do not be afraid to seek help from a professional, specialized dog trainer or an animal psychologist.