22 May 2011

Which Balls Are Best?

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With a German Shepherd, finding balls that do not fall apart easily is tough. I find the best way to tire my pup out is by using a ball launcher, available at Pets at Home for a very reasonable price. These ball launchers are becoming more and more popular, I see many people on dog walks with them. They launch balls far further than you would when you would throw them by hand. Using the ball launcher also keeps your hands relatively clean and not slobbered on. So, then comes the question, what kind of ball is best for this ball launcher?

The ball that comes with the ball launcher is a low quality tennis ball. With one throw and fetch this ball was ripped to shreds, so I had to start looking for other kinds of balls right away.

Squeaky Balls

This for me is a definite no, besides the fact that I cannot stand the squeaking noise; Bo will do his best to rip the ball apart to find the squeaker and kill it. So, we have only used these once and never again!

Solid Rubber Balls

I really enjoyed using these; Bo can chew them to his hearts content but still cannot destroy it. They are nice colours so can be found easily in long grass. The only reason I stopped using these was because of their weight. These balls are far heavier than tennis balls so don’t fly as far through the air. Launching these balls also becomes a good workout for the arms after a while.

Tennis Balls

Higher quality tennis balls were my next choice. I picked a few that were bright colours. I have found the bright colours to be so useful, the dog can find them easier when they are brighter and a completely different colour to the grass and when he really can’t find them, I can generally find them. Tennis balls did not last long. A few throws in and there were teeth marks in them. Even when Bo wasn’t trying to chew them, his teeth would inadvertently go through the balls. Once the tennis balls were punctured, the ball launcher would launch them, but they would not bounce or roll once landing. Because of this, I gave up on tennis balls fairly quickly.

Sponge Balls

These balls are available from Pets at Home in packs of 3 for £3 or 6 for £5.59. They are fantastically bright and they are light. In the ball launcher they can go very far making your dog run further and faster to get them. Bo’s teeth often get stuck in these balls, but a few shakes of his head and they are off again. These balls last for a while before they have holes in, but even then, they can still be thrown. For me, they last for months, making them very good value for money. The only draw back to these balls is that if your dog is a chewer and gets hold of one, it will end up in small pieces.

So, I have now settled for the sponge balls, I think they are great colours so easy to find, fantastic value for money and do the job well. These are what I would recommend to any ball-throwing enthusiast!


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