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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Curbing Dog OCD

Dakota: Lab with 2 stuffed football toysWith some love and patience, you too can curb your Lab's obsessive compulsive disorder. Well, at least we think you can...

Dakota is very OCD when it comes to balls (and some stuffed toys). It isn't like she will give you a ball to throw for her all the time. For Dakota, it is more about squishing the ball until it pops and pulling off all the fuzz from any tennis ball she sees. This is such an obsession that trying to get her to drop a ball at times is like using the jaws of life on a train wreck.

Her obsession has led us to spend a fortune on tennis balls until we finally decided to only take them out so often. Well that was even worse because she knew that if we took it away, there would be a chance that she would not get it back. Hence, the jaws of Dakota would seal shut around the ball and you could probably even hang her from the Empire State building by the ball and she would never fall. (laugh)

Lucky for us, we found a great tennis ball (see post) that seems immune to Dakota's strength and determination. If the ball can withstand her destructive behavior with them, then maybe, just maybe, we could leave them out all the time.

This ball was such a huge success that we now leave them out all the time. And guess what? Dakota is no longer obsessive compulsive with them anymore because she doesn't fear us taking them away. Sure, she has her moments but most of the time we tell her to drop and she will drop it at our feet and wait patiently for us to kick it down the hallway or throw it to her to catch. Curbing her OCD just came down to finding a tennis ball she couldn't destroy and allowing her to feel safe that it would not be taken away from her. Now we have a few balls that are spread throughout the house and Dakota will pick up one every so often to start a game of fetch.

Now if only we can get Cheyenne to stop barking her head off whenever Dakota has the ball. Sure, there are tons of balls around but she always wants (and must have) what Dakota has. How's that for an annoying little sister? (laugh)

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Blogger Marla said...

This is great. Our dog Stella is OCD about wanting to go outside.

December 20, 2007 9:36 PM  

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