HomeDogsDog Balls Are More Than Just a Toy: The Wonderful World of Ball-Obsessed Dogs
Dog Balls Are More Than Just a Toy: The Wonderful World of Ball-Obsessed Dogs
When it comes to dogs and playtime, there’s nothing more quintessentially “canine” than the age-old game of fetch. Throw a ball, and many dogs will chase it with all the speed, focus, and enthusiasm of a hunting wolf zeroing in on prey. But why do some dogs seem to develop an almost obsessive love for playing with balls? Dog balls are more than just a toy, they can become an obsession!
We thought it would be interesting to explore why some types of dogs are ball-obsessed, the different types of ball-obsessed dogs, and the best balls on the market to make them all happy. It is important to know that not all dog balls are created equal and for some dog breeds playing with balls is actually not a good idea based on their jaw structure. Let’s explore the world of ball-obsession.
The Thrill of the Chase
Dogs are descendants of wolves, animals that survive by hunting. Although our domesticated friends don’t need to hunt for their meals, many still have an inherent drive to chase, catch, and retrieve. For these dogs, a simple ball isn’t just a toy; it’s a focal point for their natural instincts.
Types of Ball-Obsessed Dogs
Some dogs, often breeds like Greyhounds and Whippets, are built for speed. When these dogs see a ball soaring through the air, their main goal is to reach it as quickly as possible. They relish the adrenaline rush and the wind whooshing past their ears as they sprint toward their target.
When choosing the right size ball for your dog, make sure it is not too small that it can easily be swallowed and not too large that it is hard for them to carry with their mouth. Larger dogs require larger balls of course, but when you have a strong jaw breed that likes to chew, you may have to do a little research to find the safest ball. Choose a dog ball that is large enough for the dog to hold in their mouth.
Breeds like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds often approach ball games with a strategic mindset. They’ll assess the trajectory of the ball, plan their path, and even anticipate where the ball will land—all in a split second. Jack Russell Terriers, small dogs with big personality, will play ball for hours. This high energy breed often becomes ball-obsessed until you can divert them to another obsession.
This category isn’t breed-specific but more personality-specific. These dogs love to carry more than one ball in their mouth at a time. Retrievers often fall into this category. They not only enjoy fetching the ball but also seem to take immense pride in their juggling abilities.
It is really important to make sure that you choose small balls that won’t “break” posing a choking hazard. If you suspect that your dog has a piece of ball or any toy stocking in their throat, head to the veterinarian immediately. Learning the technique of removing it yourself may also be very useful in an emergency. Choose balls that are high quality and sized right for your dog.
It is a good idea for every dog owner to know the dog version of the Heimlich maneuver, coaxing the stuck ball or piece of ball out of your pup’s throat. The term has been coined the external extraction technique. Ask your vet for more details on learning the technique and watch this video for additional pet care schooling.
Some dogs love the texture or material of certain balls. They might fetch the ball but spend just as much time chewing it as they do running after it. These dogs often prefer rubber balls or those with different textures, offering both a physical and sensory experience.
Dogs of all breeds, shapes, and sizes can be ball-obsessed. While some find it entertaining to destroy as many balls as possible, others actually collect and protect them, hiding them here and there. It is important to find the right type of ball to protect your dog’s teeth, jaw, and muscles from damage.
Dog Balls & Ball Launching Guns
The perfect gadget for pet owners who need a little help keeping up with their dog’s ball-obsession.
ChuckIt!® Dog Toys
Known for being the best dog launching product on the market, ChuckIt!® does it right. Many of their products are made in America, making us love them even more.
The original ChuckIt!® Ball launcher is going strong after 20 years. A more upright design, it might be the perfect angle for your toss. Its hands free – Slobber-free pickup™ is a plus! Made in the USA #originaldogballlauncher #madeinamerica
This pint size ChuckIt!® launcher is the right choice for small backyards or for pups who don’t love to run too far during ball play. This one also comes with the hands free – Slobber-free pickup™ is a plus! Made in the USA #backyardplay #ballobsessed #dogs
The newest ChuckIt!® launcher, this handy lightweight gadget is said to launch 2-3 times farther than the others making it a great choice for ball-obsessed pups. Its hands free – Slobber-free pickup™ is a plus! Made in the USA #bestdogballlauncher #madeinamerica
Toss this folding ChuckIt!® Ball Launcher in your backpack, beach bag, or camper and be ready for dog play on the go. The same great dog ball tossing gadget in half the space. The Slobber-free pickup™ is always a plus. #travelwithpets #petsonthego #ballobsessed
Chewy offers the perfect assortment of Chuckit!® Balls and its Folding ChuckIt Launcher to help you find which ball is the right choice for your pup. The Slobber-free pickup™ keeps hands dry during ball play. #doggift #dogtoys #dogplay #ballobsessed
For pups that cannot get enough and you cannot keep up with tossing, try this automatic ball toss. Fill with balls and turn it on. You still may have to go find the balls if your pup is better at fetching them than bringing them to you. #enoughisnotenough #ballplay
Designed for the game of fetch, the Chuckit!® Ultra Ball® are a great choice when using the launcher or for a simple game of toss. The same size as a tennis ball, but much better suited for dog play time. #fetch #catch #dogplay #dogball #chuckit
Sized to fit with the ChuckIt!® Launcher, this ball was designed to make a crackle or crunch sound. Ideal for pups who are attracted to making noises and respond well to sounds when playing. #letsplayball #dogtime #fetch #catchball #allforthedog
There is nothing like a good squeaker ball and tis ChuckIt!® ball is fit for their launcher and ready to give hours of squeaking pleasure. #bestdogtoys #playball #dogswholoveballs #chuckit!
Add a little whistle to the play with this unique ChuckIt!® ball. Play catch or launcher it with the ChuckIt!® launcher. #whistle #dogplay #playforkeeps #playfor hours #dogsgonnawin
A great choice for dogs who are driven by smell. This peanut butter scented ball will help them sniff out its location. Toss by hand or launch from the ChuckIt!® launcher. #peanutbutter #doglovespeanutbutter #letsplayball
When playing fetch at dusk or nighttime, choose a glow in the dark option to help you keep an eye on the ball. Launch with a ChuckIt! launcher or toss by hand to keep it close by. #nighttimetoss #dogplayatnight #afterdarkwiththedog
When outdoor play is not an option, grab this soft indoor dog ball. Ideal for hallway, basement, and kitchen play. #indoordogplaytime #tosstheball #letsplayball #chuckit
Max Glow is ChuckIt!’s best nighttime ball, glowing as you play. A wonderful choice when later play is ideal due to heat, working late or the need to get rid of some excess energy before bed! #dogsplayatnight #lotsofengery
When your dog has trouble gripping a ball, this disk flier is a great alternative. Experiement with throwing techniques to find the perfect distance for your pup. #letsplayoutdoors #gooutsideandplay
Hyper Pet Balls & Launching Tools
Just one of Cosmic Pet’s pets collections of fantastic pet toys. This patented collection takes dog balls and launching serious. They are a team of responsible pet lovers that connect people with their pets through innovative, unique, and stimulating products.
Measured at 60 feet, this is a great ball launcher gun. Easy to trigger your pup will have hours of entertainment while you save your arm. Load a few balls at a time and play some ball. #gothedistance #dogsloveballs
This manual dog ball launcher works like a sling helping you to toss them farther than you can by hand. A great choice when you want to fold it up and take it on the go. #dogslovetofetch #lets playable
Hyper Pet’s ball launcher stick is retractable, making it a great choice to keep in the backpack, beach bag, or on your belt when spending time outdoors with pups. #atthebeach #dogplayanytime
Smaller dogs need smaller balls to lay with and this pint sizes ball launcher gun is a great choice for smaller dogs or pups with smaller jaw structure. #smalldogbigpersonality #itisnotthesizethatcoun
Mini tennis ball refill for Hyper Pet launcher gun. Great for indoor and outdoor play for smaller breeds who absolutely love to play ball. #neverunderestimatethelittleones #smallbutmightly
Standard tennis ball size dog balls. Sized to fit all Hyper Pet gadgets except the Mini Gun. A great size for most dog breeds. #dogslovetennisballs #hyperpet #dogslovetoplayball #cannotgetenough fetch
Nerf Dog Balls & Launching Gun
Experts in the field of launching guns and family play do it again with their Nerf Dog Collection. Their Nerf Dog Ball Launcher has been known to launch 50 feet. Some say it is pretty loud, so if your pup is jumpy, this might not be the best choice.
Measured up to 50 feet, this dog ball launcher by Nerf is a great choice for outdoor ball play. Holds standard tennis ball size balls and can be launched straight or into the air for fun pet play. #nerfmaging #dogslovenerf
Nerf makes tennis balls fun with their color choices. Make it easy to find your ball at the dog park, playground, or at the park. Take 3 of one color and let them stand out. #dogsatthepark #dogslovetofetch
Choose the Nerf glow in the dark ball when playing fetch at night or dusk to make ball tracking a little easier. Fits into standard Nerf Ball Launching Gun. #whynotplayatnight #gooutandplay #nightine
A bucket of standard sized tennis balls that were designed for dog play. Grab to the bucket for hours of play. #tennisballs #dogballs
Mini dog ball launcher is sized for small breed dogs who love to play fetch just as much as the larger breed pups. #smallbutmighty
For more aggressive chewers try Nerf’s Mega Tough balls which have been tested to stand up to chewers. #toughpups toy
Dog Ball Facts:
Dogs can choke on small balls or torn pieces of balls, always supervise their play, especially when the ball is new.
No two dogs are created equal regardless of breed, size, or jaw structure, choose the right size dog ball for your pup that either fits easily but not too small to swallow or large enough to not fit inside the mouth.
Balls that do not fit into a dog’s mouth are often the best choice for aggressive chewers.
Small breeds can be aggressive chewers, don’t let their size fool you.
Pay attention to the materials and only choose balls that are non-toxic and safe for dog teeth
A dog’s jaw can become dislocated, head to the veterinarian immediately and take note of the ball size and materials that caused the issue.
Choose a ball that floats for play near or in water to keep your pet’s head above water.
Shop by ball size when choosing the right dog ball. A tennis ball measures 2.5 inches and is often the “standard” this size however can be too large even for medium and large size dog breeds.
Dog Balls By Breed Size
We would love to tell you the perfect size ball for your dog, but it is not that simple. While most dog ball manufactures try to not the best weight or breed size, it really comes down to knowing your dog, their jaw structure, and how aggressive they are. The ball should fit comfortably in their mouth and be large enough not to swallow.
Teacup & Tiny Breed Dog Balls
Yes they are so tiny. Measuring 1.5 inches, these pint size tennis balls are lots of fun for your teacup pup or play with puppies to toss around their first ball. A fun prop for pet photos. #toydogs #teacupdogs #tinydogs
Spunky Pup takes care of the little guys with these 1 3/4 inch dog balls that glow in the dark. Ideal for evening play or for ease when they find themselves under the furniture. #smallandmighty #livingthelife #teacupdogs
These small but mighty dog tennis balls are perfect for pups who have tiny jaws. Safe for dog teeth they are ideal for indoor and outdoor play. Available in additional colors. #pinktennisballs #smalldogsrule #smallandmighty
Small Breed Dog Balls
When a standard tennis ball size is too large for your pup, this 2 in dog ball is a great choice. This durable ball is ideal for fetch, chase, and water play. Fun play in the lake, river, or pool. Don’t forget life jacket for little pups! #dogwaterplay
The right ball choice for mighty little pups who don’t know their own strength. Designed to NOT fit into your dog’s mouth but rather a ball to heard, toss and play with. Made in USA. #agressivelittledogs #smallbutmighty
These pint size dog balls measure 2 inches and are perfect for aggressive little chewers. Scented to add extra entertainment. Designed by dog lovers.
Medium Breed Dog Balls
Sized to fit medium and large breed dogs who need a smaller diameter ball. The same size as a standard tennis ball, measuring 2.5in it is an ideal ball choice for pups who don’t always know their own strength. Made in the USA.
The perfect entertainment for pups 15-50 lbs. Select this sizes if it will not fit into your dog’s mouth. It is designed to be moved, jostled, and chased, not for chewing. Made in America. #smartdogtoys #americanmade
Sized for medium and large breed dogs this 2.5 inch ball will fit standard launchers and has the added benefit of being scented. Rated for aggressive chewers and ideal for fetch. #greatdogtoy
This set of 6 Harry Barker Dog Balls are a great gift for your best dog. These standard size balls measure 2.5 inches and can be tossed near and far. They are designed to be filled with a dog treat or just hours of fetch fun. #harrybarker
Sized for medium dog breeds and up, this over-sized herding ball is 18 inches and ideal for training, fitness, and play. Removable cover can be replaced and protects inner ball. #herdingdogs #letsgetfit
This open weave ball is ideal for pups who try to take on more than their mouth can chew. Their mouth can find the perfect way to hold without extending their jaw. #smartdogtoys #ballobsessed
Large Breed Dog Balls
Rated as one of the best dog balls, this heavy duty toy is a winner with aggressive chewer dog owners. Ideal for large and XL dogs and medium dog breeds with larger jaw structure it is great for a game of fetch. Measuring 3 inch diameter. Made in the USA .#madeinAmerica
Sized for pups 45 lbs or greater. Not designed for play in mouth but rather for herding and movement with snout, mouth, or paws. Ideal for large dog breeds that love to heard and travel with their ball. Made in the USA. #madeintheUSA #dogsloveballs
A great size for dogs weighing 25-50 lbs. This hard plastic ball is designed to no fit inside your pup’s mouth, but to be played with their paws or schnoz. A great backyard toy with plenty of entertainment. Made in USA. #madeinUSA
These 3 in dog balls by Harry Barker are designed to be treat filled or just tossed. Made of high quality rubber and they have a reputation of holding up to the most aggressive dog ball fans. #harrybarker #dogballs #letsplayball
For pups that love them a ball that they can care for, this 8 inch stuffed sherpa fleece ball is a great choice. Easy to carry, a perfect pillow, or great snuggle at nap time. #dogswholoveballs
Slightly larger than a standard tennis ball, this 2.75 inch slick sided ball has proven to stand up to aggressive chewers. It floats, it easily wipes off, and it is durable. #letsplayball #gooutsideandplay
XL Breed Dog Balls
The team at Doggie Dooley have heavy duty dog balls figured out. These dog toys are made of extremely strong plastic that will hold up to the most aggressive chewers. The 14 inch is the ideal size option and ideal for pups weighing at least 75 lbs. The ball is designed for play and not be fit into your pup’s mouth. Made in USA.
Many dogs respond well to scented toys and the top selling scented balls by Playology are proof. At 3.25 inches it is perfect for large and Xl dog breeds. Available in 5 different food scents. Ideal for aggressive chewers rating it a 5 on their scale.
This over-sized dog-friendly tennis ball is a fun choice for backyard play. Sized right for pet and people soccer play and ground movement. The bright yellow color makes it easy to locate. #dogslovetennisballs #bigdogsbigballs #bigballs
This dubbed ball measures 5 inches and designed for large breed aggressive chewers. The nubs help to clean dog teeth a bit. Made of heavy duty rubber that this easy to keep clean. Non-toxic and pet-safe.
Dog Ball Games: More Than Just Fetch
Sometimes it is not the art of the chase, but rather the capture for the win. Hide balls in the yard with different scents or fill them with treats to entertain pups who are not a big fan of fetch. Hide a ball under a towel or inside a toy, and watch your dog’s keen senses go to work. This game stimulates their problem-solving skills and engages their sense of smell.
For those dogs that love to herd, a game of soccer can be a wonderful way to engage them. They can use their noses to nudge the ball into a goal, simulating the herding action that is instinctual for many breeds.
This can be a great game for dogs that love to chew. However, ensure that you set clear boundaries and stop the game if it becomes too aggressive.
Health Benefits and Precautions Of Dog Balls
Playing with balls can provide dogs with ample exercise, helping to keep them fit and healthy. However, it’s essential to use appropriately sized balls for your dog to prevent choking. Always supervise playtime, especially if your dog is a vigorous chewer who could break the ball into smaller pieces.
Choose dog balls that are soft, with spikes to help keep your dog’s teeth clean while they enjoy a little play time. Toss the ball, play catch, or make this their inside ball.
Keep your pups strong teeth and gums strong with a little dental ball play. Ideal for larger breed dogs.
Oral health dog ball designed for more aggressive chewers that want to have gorgeous teeth and gums.
The Emotional Bond With Dog Balls
Finally, let’s not forget the emotional component. The game of fetch isn’t just about chasing and retrieving; it’s also about sharing a moment with you. Every throw, every sprint, and every retrieve is an opportunity for you and your dog to bond, to understand each other better, and to share in the simple joy of a game well played.
This fun colored plush beach ball is a great companion for a road trip to the ocean, quiet time at the beach house, or anytime. It makes a great snuggle buddy.
For cuddling loving dogs, this plush purple ball is going to be a favorite. Fun loving eyes will be a great buddy to pups big and small.
For sports loving pups, choose from soccer, football, baseball and other great sports balls. to keep your pup busy indoors and out.
So the next time your ball-obsessed canine friend brings you that slobbery toy, remember: it’s more than just a ball, and it’s more than just a game. It’s an expression of your dog’s inherent nature and a wonderful opportunity for the two of you to connect.