As stated in a previous post ( the Problems of a Baldy Dog ) Tess has problems with scratching behind her front legs due to having very little hair to protect them. I managed to sort leg protectors for outside, which work brilliantly, thanks to the lovely Joanne from http://www.fleecedogharnesses.co.uk for talking it through with me and supplying the fleece tubes.
Tess loves her Boomer ball which is a 6″ hard plastic ball ( it comes in a 4.5″, 8″ and a 10″ as well) it started off smooth but as she can’t fit it in her mouth it is now all scratched up from her teeth and paws. This is causing more scratches on her legs. I would have to put her new leg protectors on before she played with the Boomer ball to prevent this happening.
Coal is very interested in the boomer ball but can’t quiet work out how to play with it but enjoys me kicking it for him but doesn’t know what to do with it when he reaches it. One of the other foster carers for Staffie Smiles Rescue posted a photo of their foster dog on Facebook and it looked like the dog had managed to work out a way to hold the large ball. When I commented about it, she replied saying that it was a Jolly ball rather than a boomer, so of course I had to go check it out!
The Jolly ball comes in the same sizes as the boomer so I purchased another 6″ one with Coal in mind. It is made of a non toxic thick tough rubbery plastic rather than the hard plastic of the boomer ball, which I didn’t realise until it arrived. The reason I purchased it, without knowing the material it was made from, was that it has a handle so the dogs can carry it around. This makes much more sense to Coal and he adores running around with it in his mouth! Both Coal and Tess share all their toys and it doesn’t matter if I have two of the same toy, they want the one that the other has! Coal has decided that he’s not sharing the Jolly ball though and he’s quiet right as Tess now has two boomer balls as she has inherited his unused one. This is fine for Tess in the meantime but when she gets this one all scratched up she won’t be able to play with it without getting her legs shredded!
the Jolly ball with the handle would be no good for Tess as she would concentrate on removing the handle rather than playing with it! Luckily the Jolly ball comes in several designs – ball with handle, plain ball, ball with a rope through it and a ball inside a ball. So once the newer boomer is too scratched up I will buy Tess the plain Jolly ball to play with as the rubber won’t scratch her legs whilst she’s playing with it!
Jolly ball is made in the USA by Jolly Pets ( http://www.jollypets.com ) and the ball with the handle is called Tug-n-Toss. It is made from non toxic rubber and is 100% recyclable, including the packaging. The ball also floats. They state that the 6″ ball is for medium dogs, but as both of mine are small for their breed the 6″ is perfect for them. A few years ago I had got them something similar to the boomer ball but egg shaped but as it was too big for mine neither showed any interest after the first couple of minutes when they realised there was no way it was going in their mouths! Good job that my friends two staffies are larger and they love the egg shaped ball so it didn’t go to waste, but after that I thought the 8″ ball might be pushing it a bit and I know that the 6″ is fine sizing for them both.
the point of the Boomer ball is that it is as indestructible a toy as is currently available and staffies are extremely tough on toys, so go through a lot of them, which is what drew me towards the Boomer in the first place. The Jolly ball seems to be just as strong as the boomer as there isn’t a tooth mark on it, and that’s around a week they’ve been playing with it. Jolly ball is suitable for horses to play with so that gives you an idea of its strength!
Not only does the actual ‘play’ tire them out but they’re having to think about it which exhausts them too, seemingly10 minutes brain training is the equivalent of an hours walk and I can believe that, just look at Tess’s face! Tess can go a two hour walk and still not be panting the way she does after playing with the Boomer ball! Staffies have boundless energy so anything that use up that energy is beneficial and saves me tearing my hair out! Lol
In future I will continue to buy the Jolly ball rather than the boomer, sheerly due to the material it is made of, although I would still recommend the boomer ball if you don’t have a baldy dog! Both the Boomer and Jolly balls are more expensive but due to their indestructability are well worth it as they last so much longer than other toys, which is a hard job when it’s staffies that are playing with it!