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Poppy is a littl over 5 months old and loves to play ball. Well throw it somewhere and she'll bring it back. I'm trying to get her to catch it mid air on a short toss. At this point all I'm doing is hitting her in the nose with the ball. Should she be able to time it yet?
 

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Poppy is a littl over 5 months old and loves to play ball. Well throw it somewhere and she'll bring it back. I'm trying to get her to catch it mid air on a short toss. At this point all I'm doing is hitting her in the nose with the ball. Should she be able to time it yet?
My Olie is about the same age, and this might not be the BEST advise but we take pieces of chicken or meat and toss it and he has caught a few:) and I am seeing him try to at least catch the ball so i think before to long they will be catching. Suri catches a lot of balls but I didn't get to see the training she had to learn it.
 

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I'd say she's old enought but it will take time, it has always taken our guys a little while to learn to coordinate a catch of the ball. Just practice once in a while, with ours eventually they get sick of it bouncing off the nose and start catching!
 

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Romeo, my cream standard is a total ball dog and the "chuck it" has been my life and shoulder saver. He was able to catch the balls mid air from the very beginning. It's just something he is wired to do. Brandy, my ex-red standard has never been a ball dog, but occasionally likes to chase a ball. She could never really catch it mid air (maybe once or twice), instead she seems to jump right next to it, but always misses. It's soooo funny. I think it doesn't have as much to do with age as with coordination. On the other hand my Brandy is spring loaded and loves to jump on things.

I am sure that with practice he will get the hang of it. :)
 

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My son taught Cooper by throwing treats starting only a few feet away, if he didn't catch it he wouldn't let him have it. (He was probably about 6 months old at the time.) He learned very quickly. We gradually increased the distances and started throwing a ball. He has always loved to fetch a ball. Now he will jump in the air to catch it. Its one of our show-offs tricks when we have company. He likes having a audience!
 

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Huh. I can't give you any advice on how to "teach" it... Desmond just started catching it when he could reach. I guess you could start with VERY short throws. Like, holding it above his mouth and just when/before he snatches for it you can drop it. Maybe that could help him get acquainted to catching it and you could move farther away. I don't know really, I never tried making him catch it, he just started to do it on his own. -shrug-
 

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I use those soft balls that are for water play. Catching it doesn't hurt and eventually you move unto other things, like a favorite toy. Never have used treats, but why not? :)
 

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Most definitely, we only use the soft balls. We always made a big deal when he was sucessful, alot of praise!
I use those soft balls that are for water play. Catching it doesn't hurt and eventually you move unto other things, like a favorite toy. Never have used treats, but why not? :)
 

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My SP Mimi loves to catch things before they hit the ground. We never actually taught her this, it was something she did naturally, we just encouraged it.
Yes, exactly... the dog has to want to do it. Encouraging is fine and praising works great, but there are some that can care less. They may prefer to specialize in other things... like stare at cats. (my boy) <g>
 

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I agree, some dogs will do it naturally, some need to be "shown" what you want, others could care less. I have had/seen all types. The natural ones are the "ball fanatics" normally...lol...they just LOVE to make sure they get that ball! BUT, you can teach a dog to catch an item.. and the best way is by treats. I had to teach more than one to do this. Take a chewy, soft treat, hold it over the dogs nose (dog sitting), the dog will stretch up and open its mouth to take it... drop the treat into their mouth as you say 'catch'. If the dog jumps up to get it, that's ok, as long as you drop the food into their mouth so they are technically catching it and not grabbing it from your fingers. Always remember to tell them how good they are when the "catch" the dropped treat.

After they get used to the fact that the food is going to "drop" into their mouth and that is what you want and they associate the word 'catch' with it... you can drop it from higher, or try to hold it a little in front of their body (but still high up above their head) and when they open their mouth, toss it into their mouth. They should not have to "chase" the treat yet... it should make it into their mouth.

Then progress to giving the cue word 'catch' and toss it to them from a short distance away. They should attempt to grab it in the air by this time. If they catch it, lots and lots of praise, IF they miss it... do NOT let them pick it up from the floor... you need to be quick here and get it off the floor before they do.... if they get it from the floor, this is stepping backwards....If you retrieve it from the floor, they learn that if they DON'T grab that BEFORE it gets to the floor, they don't get it. Soon they will be doing all kinds of contortions to make sure they 'get it first'!

For the ones that could "care less", these are normally dogs that are so laid back they don't really care to play... they just like to be around you and are very quiet. BUT, I have seen this type of dog benefit from the above training and become more wanting to "play the game". So, it never hurts to try and teach that old dog new tricks....lol. Oh, and obedience/agility work with your dog also makes them more confident and more apt to play games with you.
:)
 
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