So my dogsitting dog Giant Goof Dog (for context because I’m atting @why-animals-do-the-thing - a 3 year old, 45 kilo Flatcoat Retriever/Bouvier mix) is super keen on his tennis balls. Sadly this has been heavily encouraged by his owners, so he’s, well, crazy keen. His ‘let go’ command turns sadly non-existent when it comes to tennis balls - I’ve been working on it, but it’s slow going, not helped by him becoming completely uninterested in even the best food once we’re outside. And also becoming so excited about Outside and Ball! that his brain basically falls out of his head. I tried bringing peanut butter, which he will do cartwheels for inside - nope, I’ll hang on to my ball instead. It can only be swapped for, you guessed it, a second tennis ball. And even then I have to be quick or otherwise he will have (surprise) two tennis balls in his big mouth.
Some really interesting behaviour: Today was the third time that we met a dog he liked on-sight while he was carrying a ball, and he dropped it right in front of her. The first two times it happened I thought he was distracted (a lot of other stimuli at the time) but this time seemed quite deliberate. The other dog was not interested in the ball and ignored it, though after some consideration she did seem to like Goof Dog. Sadly there was no occasion to let them play.
Was this a gift? An offer to play? A brainfart? Something else?
Apparently this ball has been stuck to Zephyrs neck for what I suspect has been an hour. Every time I checked on her outside she was laying down against the ball and I was wondering why she kept bringing it around the yard. Of course this ball is almost as tall as she is. My poor little girl