Sam is my Hearing Dog, and when he's not working, he loves nothing more than chasing his ball. He's an 18-month old Cockapoo so, this kind of comes with the territory, I guess. We thought nothing could replace his ball in his affections but we were wrong: oh, my does this boy love his Winga!
A Winga is a small orange flying disc, which comes with a throwing arm and, once I'd got the hang of it, I could whizz the Winga over 100ft - which is far further than I can throw a ball (even with a throwing arm).
Like all Hearing Dogs, Sam needs at least an hour a day off-lead exercise and the Winga helps me to give him the exercise he needs whilst also exercising his brain. Some of the time, we just play a straightforward game of 'Fetch' but, we also play another retrieving game: I ask Sam to sit and wait; I then throw the Winga, repeating my instruction to wait. When I am ready, I give the command, "Go find," and Sam sets off to search for his quarry. This is good where there ar clumps of long grass as this adds to the challenge. This type of exercise is good for both the poodle and the Cocker Spaniel in him and he excels at it.
At the end of our game, I ask Sam to 'drop it' and I reward him with a treat before saying, "Pocket," and putting the disc away. Sam then knows the game is at an end.
If you would like to follow Sam on Twitter, you can do so at: @HearingDogSam.