Every dog is different when it comes to playing fetch. Some have zero interest in playing, while others are obsessed with the game and won’t stop playing until their human friends force them to stop.
There are a lot of reasons why dogs love to play fetch. First, most dogs are genetically predisposed to chasing after objects that move, whether it’s a car or a squirrel. They also instinctually bring back prey to their dens.
“After a hunt, sometimes the wolf will carry the prey back to the den to be consumed safely with the pack, essentially ‘retrieving’ dinner for the family,” Katelyn Schutz, Certified Professional Dog Trainer of Wisconsin Pet Care, said according to BarkPost. “The game of fetch in our pet dogs is suggested to be a simple variation of this ‘prey-carrying’ behavior.”
Fetch also stimulates the reward centers in a dog’s brain, so once they get started playing they don’t want to stop. Bounder, Brittney Reynolds’ black Labrador, can’t get enough of catching and retrieving a tennis ball.
“He’s obsessed,” Reynolds told The Dodo. “He will play fetch until I make him stop.”
He brings it back to the edge of the fence. #blacklab #doglover #SeeHerGreatness
Bounders’ obsession with the game led him to ask Reynolds’ neighbor to play fetch with him when she wouldn’t. She discovered the game had been going on in secret one day when she went outside to see why Bounder was barking and discovered he was asking the neighbor to play with him.
“The neighbor was sitting on his back patio with the ball gun on the table, and Bounder was staring him down and barking at him wanting to play,” Reynolds said. “I tried to tell him to stop barking, but the neighbor got up and started shooting the ball gun for him. It was just so cute. I went and thanked him for playing with my boy and found out that they had been doing this for a while.”
The neighbors had a ball gun to play fetch with their dog, Layla.
Reynolds shared a wholesome video of Bounder and the neighbor playing together and it went viral receiving over 6.8 million views. “Just found out my neighbor and my dog have been playing fetch together over the fence,” she captioned the video.
Some commenters thought the game was great for the dog and the neighbor, too. “I just watched all your videos on this and I’m in love with this story! Your dogs have new grandparents and they have a reason to stay active,” Monica wrote.
“I hope that you know that allowing this is making that man’s day. You are a great neighbor and humanitarian. Thank you,” another user wrote.
Caught the neighbor playing with a Bounder again. He looks forward to this. #goodneighbors #doglovers #Totinos425
“I am a huge dog lover, and it always makes me happy to see others treating dogs so well,” Reynolds said about her neighbor.
“Our dogs are our family, and I think you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat animals.” Reynolds shared a follow-up video that showed the over-the-fence fetch game is still happening.