Activities For Dogs Who Like Balloons

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Introduction

Balloons bring out the inner child in us all, even your faithful, four-legged friend. Many dogs love trying to play with balloons, however, most balloons are not safe for them. There are, though, many toys that could mimic the look and movement of a balloon. Activities for dogs who like balloons should revolve around balls. Remember, not all activities need to center around a ball, they can include walks, playdates or even dog sports such as dock diving or agility.

Tether Tug

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Tether pole
Pole Supports
Ball or Toy
Activity description

There are many different types of tether toys on the market for dogs or you can easily make your own. When setting up an area for your dog’s tether tug, be sure to place it in a somewhat shady spot but away from any obstacles that they could run into or fall over when they become excited over the game. Safety should be your first priority when setting up an activity for your dog. Dogs with a natural instinct for retrieving will have a blast with this activity, although they may become frustrated after a while of pulling and tugging without the desired result of dislodging the ball or toy. The tether tug activity is a great way for your dog to play tug-o-war without it becoming a way for your dog to challenge your authority. 

Step
1
Purchase equipment
Finding the right tether pole may sound easy enough, however, there are things that should be considered before purchasing a tether pole for your dog. Your dog’s height and athletic ability should be considered. A dog that is short needs a smaller tether pole, whereas a taller dog will do well with a standard sized pole. Dogs that are not overly athletic will need to start with a pole that is not as springy so they do not become quickly frustrated by a pole that keeps them running.
Step
2
Find the right spot
Before setting up the new tether pole, scan your yard for the just the right spot. You do not want your dog’s new toy out in direct sun so they can enjoy their game without getting too hot. Look for a shady spot that will not be too close to trees where the toy or ball can easily get stuck in the branches. This will cause your dog to become frustrated. Also look for an open area away from fencing or other objects that your dog could run into that could possibly hurt them.
Step
3
Set up and play
Once you have bought your tether tug equipment and scouted out your yard for the perfect spot, it is time to set up the play area. When placing the tether pole, be sure to properly anchor and support it so it does not come out of the ground and possibly cause harm to your dog. After the play area is set up, take a few minutes to demonstrate to your dog how it is done. Cheer them on when they catch on and start a lively game of tether tug!
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Hall Ball

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Hallway
Ball
Treats
Activity description

Hall ball is essentially fetch modified to the indoors. Small dogs will enjoy this activity the most unless you happen to have an extra long hallway. All that is needed is a ball and a hallway; while treats are not necessary they would most likely be greatly appreciated by your pooch. You will play hall ball by putting your dog at one end of the hall and rolling a ball away from them toward the other end of the hall. After you get the ball rolling, give your dog the command to fetch, sending them chasing after the ball.  Small dogs will probably only want to play for about 15 minutes before they need a break, however, medium to large sized dogs can play for about 30 minutes before they need to stop for a rest.

Step
1
Place your dog
Your dog should have a basic knowledge of obedience so they will sit somewhat patiently while you start the ball rolling. Being in a sit stay will keep your dog from chasing the ball too soon. It will also help them to not become overly excited and cause mayhem as they race down the hall after their ball. Having to sit before the start of each game gives your dog a minute to regroup and settle a bit before they are off and running again.
Step
2
Roll the ball
After you are certain your dog is properly placed in a sit stay, it is time to roll the ball. Give your dog the fetch command when the ball reaches about one-third of the way down the hall. Watch your dog give chase and cheer them on! You want your dog to catch the ball and then bring it back to you. However, if you are using a large beach ball, your dog may find it a little hard to bring it back. You might be able to teach your dog to roll the large ball back up the hall as a part of hall ball.
Step
3
Go-getter fun
It is impossible to have a satisfied dog after only rolling the ball once down the hall. Be prepared to settle in at one end of the hall for at least 15 to 30 minutes depending on the size of your dog, their attention span and how quickly they tire. Your dog will let you know when they are done or need a break, but if you have a real go-getter, make sure they stop and take breaks after 30 minutes.
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Flyball

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Jumps
Collar & Leash
Ball
Activity description

When most people hear the phrase flyball, they probably envision dogs leaping through the air in dramatic fashion and catching a ball before landing on their feet. It actually is a relay race for dogs where teams race down a lane full of hurdles, grabbing a ball that pops up at the end of the lane. Each dog then races back to the beginning so the next dog can go. There are usually four dogs to a team. Dogs competing in a flyball competition are expected to race as fast as they can to get the best team score. There are some dogs that will have a natural ability to excel in flyball while other dogs will struggle and need extra training to become competitive. 

Step
1
Fetch and recall
The first step is teaching your dog to fetch. You need to remember that not all dogs are natural-born retrievers. For those dogs that struggle with retrieving, you will need to make the activity fun and exciting with lots of praise and treats. If your dog loves to play fetch, they will do great learning the ins and outs of flyball. Once your dog has learned to fetch, it is time to solidify their understanding of recall. Since flyball is so fast-paced, they must be able to listen and follow commands throughout the entire race. Dogs that are easily excitable or strong-willed will probably struggle with the recall aspect of flyball. But with patience and repetition, they will do well in flyball.
Step
2
Teach the jumps
Flyball consists of hurdles or jumps throughout the lane that your dog will have to quickly sail over. To teach your dog to race over jumps, you may want to set up some hurdles in your backyard. Some dog parks or dog clubs will have dog jumps you can train on rather than having the expense of buying your own jumps. When training, be sure to use treats and a lot of praise to get them to go over the hurdles.
Step
3
Find a team
This might be the hardest part of flyball. Check out the local dog clubs in your area and let them know your interest in flyball. If you do not have a team already lined up, check out some flyball training classes and see if you can locate others also searching for a team. Flyball teams are made up of four dogs and owners. It is a competitive sport so if you are just getting started, it is best to look for other people just starting out to keep your dog from holding back a more experienced team.
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More Fun Ideas...

Ball Pit

Dogs that love balloons will absolutely go crazy over a ball pit! You can make your own ball pit or you can purchase one and set it up for your pooch. Make sure the balls that you use in the ball pit are not too small; you do not want your dog to be able to easily swallow a ball. Your dog will spend a great deal of time playing in their ball pit.

Fetch

Fetch is one of the simplest activities you can do with your dog. They will love the time they get to spend with you and also it will wear them out and help them get their daily exercise. Some dogs are naturals when it comes to playing fetch, however, others might love to give chase only to turn around and return without the toy. A little work and training will have them quickly learning to bring the toy back to you.

Conclusion

Balloons are not necessarily the best toys for your dog, they can be popped easily and deflated balloons are easily swallowed. However, if your dog loves balloons, they will also love any type of ball. Activities that involve balls such as flyball, fetch or a ball pit would be a great way to play into their natural love of balloons. Not all activities for your balloon-loving dog have to center around balls, though. They will most likely just enjoy spending time with you.