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Question, how do I stop my boy eating balls, any ball is fair game, he gets them when other people are out with their dogs, if they throw them hes there like a bullet, but when he gets the ball, its a game, won't give it up, runs off, chews it and eats and swallows it, just have no idea how to stop this bad habit before he does himself some damage, not going to leave him on a lead, so please don't suggest that, and please no nasty comments
Thanks for your time
 

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If you are having problems getting the ball away you can initiate a trade for some highly motivating treat, then fade the treat and provide another more durable toy.
 

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Puddles
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So your concern is not bringing it back to you or ball obsession? Two very different problems and each addressed in different ways.
My girl is ball obsessed as well... well actually anyone that throws anything is fair game to her. In a group training I was working on a recall and the person next to me was working on high jump retrieves. They threw the dumbbell just after i I gave the come command and yup, my girl ran over and got it on her way and quite pleased with herself. But my girl returns everything and happily sat in front (required on the recall) and gave it up when asked.
We can't leave balls out in the toy basket as she will drive you nuts and the pup will eat them. They are limited to training time only, great motivator. And no matter where you hide them she knows they are there!

But to address your issues the 1st step is to teach your dog to give it up when asked and you do this in your own home or back yard long before expecting them to do it in a dog park. And yes, I don't like dog parks.

Teaching them to not go after a ball in a group setting, sorry but even the strongest "leave it" command isn't going to help you. They are retrievers and to get the ball, any ball is in their DNA. This can be stronger in some dogs more than in others. So you have two choices, keep on a long line so you have some sort of control or avoid the dog park. You have no control on what other people or dogs for that matter, bring to the park.

But if they are on a long line you have the option to train your recall command as an alternate behavior you can reward. But never ask for a behavior unless you have the ability to enforce the command... like reeling them back in when you call them.

I'm not a big fan of dog parks as lots of times you get a dog with protective instincts that will get overly excited when a ball or any toy comes into play and someone always gets hurt.
But you can totally get control of them eating the ball in the dog park by teaching them to bring it to you and letting go.
 
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