3 min read


Why Dogs Like Balls



3 min read


Why Dogs Like Balls




There is something magical about the bond that is created between canine and human. The way your animal looks at you, cuddles with you, and plays with you creates a connection that can last a lifetime. As you and your pet begin to develop your relationship, spending time with each other is a positive avenue for strengthening your connection. Something almost every dog tends to love playing with is a ball. Playing fetch with your dog is an extremely enjoyable experience for them, and it can be an enjoyable experience for you, too. 

The Root of the Behavior

As animals, there are certain ways of being that constitute how they uphold themselves throughout their life. Dogs have a tendency to want to chase things. In past times, dogs were trained to do this for the purpose of hunting. Once they had achieved their goal, they were to return back to their owner with their prey. Chasing things and hunting was also a tactic for survival. Today, animals have that movement, desire, and action ingrained into who they are. Yet, animals don't hunt anymore for survival and it is not a popular sport for our animals to hunt. Dogs are aware that balls are not rabbits, but the act of chasing a ball replicates that of their past time. The ball is an item dogs love specifically because they can chase it well, it can fit in their mouth easily, they can spot it, and it is fast. 

When you are playing fetch with your animal, there are many other reasons why they will find it enjoyable. Playing fetch makes your dog feel good. When they chase the ball and retrieve it, this is a deed accomplished and their body knows it. This is how they are as dogs. It feels quite rewarding to them, just as accomplishing one of our own goals makes us feel good. We do not need a payoff to do it, although it feels better when we get one. Playing fetch and tossing a ball to your dog is another way for quality time for you and your dog. Some animals will choose not to love playing fetch, but others will immensely love it. This could depend on the breed of dog that you have and it could also depend on the temperament of your dog. Ultimately, the movement of a ball will mimic that of prey, and the animal is able to use their instinctive nature to chase and retriever the ball. 

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Encouraging the Behavior

Playing fetch with a ball or tossing it around for your dog is an activity that is perfect for your pet’s exercise, instinctive nature, and bonding. When you play fetch with your dog, it is important to choose the proper ball for your dog’s health. Purchasing a ball that is sturdier than something lighter and bouncier will be healthier and easier for your dog to play with. Tennis balls can pop in your dog’s mouth if their grip is too tight, causing choking; and the fabric and glue that holds together a tennis ball can be unhealthy for your dog’s teeth and mouth. It may be important to look into different types of toys for your dog for their health. 

Playing fetch is a rewarding game and it is an activity of exercise that helps get extremely playful energy out of your dog. It helps your animal get in touch with their natural instinct and is something that is highly encouraged. As long as your dog is safe and healthy, this activity of fetch or just playing with a ball can help soothe your animal and it can also make them feel good about themselves. Playing with a ball that can bounce in many directions will get your animal excited and help them connect to their nature. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

When you take your dog to the park or go to an area where you play with your pet and toss a ball around, it may be important to set boundaries of the area. Watching your animal and making sure they are chasing the ball and getting their playful energy out that way instead of acting out on their instinctive nature is critical. Although rabbits and other animals may be around, try and keep your dog focused just on chasing the ball and playing with you. If your dog has any health concerns involving their jaw or their leg, you may want to be gentle and not play too rough with your animal.


Chasing things and running around is a dog’s natural instinct. From the time that they are born to the time they are full grown, dogs will love to play with their owners and with other dogs. Finding the right toys for playfulness is important to help with your dog’s confidence in being a dog soar. 

By a Shiba Inu lover Patty Oelze

Published: 02/07/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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