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Thread: Tennis Balls for retrieve training

  1. #1
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    Default Tennis Balls for retrieve training

    Was looking over an old thread and my question came up?

    What problems would one have if using tennis balls as retrieve "Bumpers"?
    I use them on occasion. They float, they bounce, leave a track, hold scent and are cheap. Dogs love them.
    Thanks
    Don

  2. #2
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    I will train with anything they can't find out in the wild. The only problem I have with tennis balls is they hold grit and SCREW UP a dogs teeth- wear them right down. But especially for puppies who need a good chase- I like them.

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    Senior Member yellow machine's Avatar
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    They eat them and get bowl obstructions, they wear the teeth down just look at a rally dogs teeth sometime. One bite and they can pop them. I have never seen one used at a hunt test either.
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    My personal opinion of them; I wouldn't think they promote good hold habits and they are also easily chewed up to become blockages.
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    Senior Member .44 magnum's Avatar
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    does a tennis ball look like a bird? Tennis balls as said, are very abrasive to a dogs tooth enamel .. the choking hazard not worth it.
    I like one-shot kills where possible and prefer to do all my hunting before I shoot. ..... Elmer Keith



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    Depth perception is pretty important for good marking. For that reason, I want to throw something that has the size and profile of a bird ... something like a Dokken. THAT IS, provided there is some reason I am not using actual birds that day.

    I reserve bumpers for yard drills, water blinds (or water marks if they are going to be thrown repeatedly), any setup that includes a pile somewhere, etc. I see no reason to use a tennis ball for training.

    Maybe bumpers are OK for short, up close marks.

    JS
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    Dogs KNOW bumpers ... Throw a tennis ball and they look at you as if to say "What the heck is that????" LOL!
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    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .44 magnum View Post
    does a tennis ball look like a bird? Tennis balls as said, are very abrasive to a dogs tooth enamel .. the choking hazard not worth it.
    I read over the initial comment and was concerned. My 10m old would retrieve it, attempt fate and try to eat it!! Just b/c he is into that sort of thing with various items. I would be retrieving from his mouth! I can't see the value of teaching your pup with a tennis ball when it is never used in retrieving. Dogs will prefer the bird or bumpers. Much more would be accomplished by using what is required and would be used in the sport.JMHO
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    You'd think no one ff's around here from this thread. I know I'm not the only one here doesn't use birds for pile work, t tt walking baseball swim by etc. I also will bet an entry fee that I'm not the only one with a dog who knows that it doesn't matter what's on the pile- you pick it up and bring it back.


    I didn't interpret the OP as trying to replace birds in his training, neither did I read him as trying to eliminate bumpers- but rather an option for a casual supplement to the normal stuff.

    In that capacity my own primary criteria is met - ie- they will not likely get sent on a retrieve and come back with a tennis ball instead of the bird- so "completely foriegn to any environment other than one i have complete control of"

    Which brings me around to - I don't let the dogs chew up bumpers or birds- so I maintain that standard with any other thing I might tell her to fetch. I don't let them eat quail or doves either- and I train with them to make sure, I don't see the difference in correcting trying to swallow one vs the other. Neither is acceptable.

    Anyway- there are real issues and to me the teeth thing is the biggest, of the many considerations

  10. #10

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    I do use them occasionally. It really Amps the dogs visual reactivity. If I'm putting a dog through FF and I see a dog not responding to pressure is when I use them. Also, have had dogs not properly FF and not wanting to pick up birds or bumpers and they usually like the tennis balls. So, personally I do use them as a tool but not as a consistent source of bumper.

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