We don't allow balls here at the Ranch. Not the kind you play with.....or the other kind, after a dog has reached a certain age.
Why don't we allow the kind of balls you throw? Because firstly we have 8 and a 1/2 acres of off leash running in woods, fields and streams that we prefer the dogs to engage with. Secondly, because if one dog has a toy then every single dog will covet it, and try to get it at every opportunity.
The rule is, one dog / one ball……two dogs / 20 balls!
Dogs are possessive about their stuff, so to stop resource guarding in any situation, it's important to have plenty of the thing that dogs will get possessive about, whether it's food bowls, water bowls, toys, blankets, or sometimes even their people (but more about that on another occasion). With over 30 dogs running off leash together, we would have to have 100's of balls available and even then it would require careful management, so we just don't allow them here.
God has kindly graced us with a sliver of paradise to let these dogs run free on, and so here, we utilize all that He has graciously provided....sticks, pine cones, trees, chipmunks, rabbits......for the dogs entertainment.
As for the other type of balls? Well, we always suggest holding off on removing them until as close to sexual maturity as you can, for health reasons, but the truth is, in a multi dog pack, the dog with his 'tackle' dangling around is going to be pretty much a target for all of the neutered dogs to fixate on, just like our furry friend here in our hilarious Ministry of Dog T shirt.
The dog with his 'junk' (one of my very favorite American expressions!) intact is the only one who can reproduce and in a pack of neutered dogs that unwittingly makes him the Alpha figure, even if he doesn't want to be. It takes an extremely unique dog to be able to enter into a large group of off leash dogs that he's never met before and assume the Alpha role cleverly, calmly and without incident. We don't want to put any dog into that position, or create the kind of tension that would arise among the pack, so its no balls allowed once they're passed a certain age.
The DD Ranch is paradise for dogs, but it ain't no ball park! 😂