Can Dogs Play with Soccer Balls?

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Dogs are animals that are often referred to as “man’s best friend”.

But then again, soccer is also one of man’s most cherished leisure activities, particularly amongst those living in the United Kingdom and countries within Europe.

So why not bring these two favourites together, right?

In today’s article I’ll talk about the possibilities that dog owners have when it comes to letting their canine pets play with soccer balls.

For the benefit of those in a hurry, I’ll cut right to the chase…

Dogs can easily enjoy different playing activities with soccer balls, from simple games of throw and fetch to kick and click. However, the soccer balls in question must be made of a durable enough material to not tear apart when bitten by the dog’s own set of teeth.

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Read on for more information on how to give your dog the best soccer ball playing experience.


Do dogs like playing with soccer balls?

Not all dogs are the same.

Even though the vast majority of dogs enjoy chasing down objects, there are certain canine breeds that are particularly more inclined to excel when it comes to playing with a soccer ball.

Two factors of great importance are the size and agility of the dog in question.

If the soccer ball dwarfs the dog’s own body size, then it may experience difficulty when it comes to moving it forward or from side to side.

More so, the dog’s own receptiveness to training will also influence whether they are likely to pick up a soccer ball playing habit.

According to the dog website called Wag, there are quite a few dog breeds that love to play with soccer balls.

These include:

  • Golden retrievers
  • Australian shepherds
  • Labrador retrievers
  • Shetland sheepdogs


Types of activities that dogs can enjoy with soccer balls

You’re now aware that dogs do in fact enjoy a casual kick about.

So, with that said, it’s time to outline the sort of soccer ball games that you can enjoy with your canine friend.


1. Throw and fetch

dogs playing with soccer balls - throw and fetch

Here’s a game that’s actually quite simple in a practical sense.

All you need is a fully inflated soccer ball, your accompanying pet and a bit of empty space (ideally at a park).

What you’ll do is grab the ball and throw it as far as you possibly can.

Or alternatively, you can adapt this recreational activity by kicking the ball instead of throwing it by hand.

Your dog should then attempt to retrieve it by running to the location where it landed and bringing it back to you.

Now this only works if your dog fully understands what it’s being asked to do.

So, if your dog has never played this game before or has trouble learning new things, you may encounter some teething problems!


2. Kick and click

dogs playing with soccer balls - kick and click

This second game is quite fascinating.

You simply place the soccer ball down onto the ground and when your dog touches it, you signal that occurrence by pressing a clicker.

What this does is help the dog to associate the clicking sound with the act of making ball contact.

So, you can make this game exceedingly enjoyable for your dog by guiding it towards goal with the ball.

Every time they progress the ball forward, you would use the clicker for positive reinforcement to indicate to the dog that what they are doing is good and to carry on with that.


Are there soccer balls that dogs cannot pop?

It’s important to note that there’s a huge difference between the way a dog and a human being would handle a soccer ball.

Dogs primarily use their mouths to play soccer, and their teeth are sharp enough to claw into a traditional soccer ball and make it gradually lose air after it’s been punctured.

This means you’ll need to pick up a dog-proof soccer ball.

These objects come with the roundness of a standard soccer ball but the key difference is that they are made from puncture-resistant materials like rubber.

So, I’ve outlined a couple of dog-proof ball options that prospective buyers can take a closer look at:

Alternatively, check out our buyer’s guide on dog proof soccer balls for further information about this particular topic area.


Closing thoughts

This article has talked about quite a number of different things.

It’s covered whether dogs like playing soccer in the first place – with specific information on the dog breeds more suited to this – before going on to outline the exact type of soccer ball activities that canines enjoy.

And then the post has provided some dog-proof soccer ball choices for consumers looking to give their dog a better soccer experience.

So, all that should answer your question on whether dogs can actually play with soccer balls!


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Samuel Waihenya
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