In this video, KPA CTP Liza Rader is playing a controlled game of retrieve with her ball-obsessed dog, Biscuit. She chose to throw the ball in a soft grassy area, which not only diminishes impact on Biscuit’s joints but also allows him to use his brain and nose to find the ball after it lands. Chasing a fast-moving object and watching the arc as it falls spikes adrenaline in a dog’s body. However, sniffing and searching helps to lower a dog’s heart rate and decrease stress hormones. By letting the ball drop and be still (as opposed to continuing to roll), the dog is less likely to twist his body and slam into the ground, actions that can result in injury or long-term wear and tear on the dog’s joints and spine. To make the game even more controlled, Liza asks Biscuit to sit at her side until she gives the cue to retrieve, and she waits until Biscuit returns the ball before tossing it again.
For more tips on how to train better and have fun with your dog, check out KPA’s Dog Trainer Comprehensive course!