Why do dogs chase the ball?

Dogs follow instinctively moving balls, a skill learned from their ancestors and today transformed into a fun game

Dogs are truly fascinated by balls . What is behind the excitement that dogs experience when a ball is thrown at them while playing with them? Experts explain that dogs chase moving balls as part of instinctive behaviour, which dates back to when they were wolves. This article explains why dogs go after balls and where this love story between these animals and balls comes from . 

Why do dogs chase balls?

The dogs chase the ball that throws them for the simple emotion that causes them to pursue moving objects. This canine play behaviour is very instinctive. Wild dogs use the race to hunt; that’s why our dogs , when they see something small move, which on top of it bounces and changes its direction like small prey in nature such as rabbits do, their natural instinct tells them that they should chase it and give it hunting.

Although not all dogs have their hunting instincts so awake , this does not prevent most of them from enjoying, and a lot, the games that include chasing a bouncing ball that bounces in front of them. The chase instinct is still at the heart of the passion that dogs experience for these games, of their fascination for activities that include racing and searching for objects.

Dogs and balls, a long love story

The chases of balls are something natural for the dogs, since in the nature they had to adapt to hunting small prey. When dogs were still wolves , the best, fastest runner would be the one who hunted the prey and survived. The result is that these pursuits have become instinctive for dogs, specialists explain.

Moving objects and balls trigger a natural chasing response in most dogs – in other words, a bouncing ball is an almost instant invitation to play for the dog.

Dogs with balls: games and videos

Chase games with balls not only amuse the dogs , they also provide us with good hours of healthy exercise in the company of them.

But while chasing the ball is a natural instinct for many dogs, it is not so much to offer the toy to its owners once captured. Very few dogs instinctively understand the action of recovering or returning the ball to the people with whom they play.

Dogs are smart, and they don’t mistake balls for a rabbit to chase. Most of them no longer need to hunt to survive. They go after the ball for the simple pleasure of playing.

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