When I was away on a trip last year I stayed with a woman who rented a room to me. She owned a black-and-white Boston Terrier named “Oreo”. Although cute as a button, Oreo had a compulsive disorder that drove me crazy. He was obsessed with fetching. It was so bad that I couldn’t reach out to touch him at all. He would immediately go looking for a ball (or anything really) to drop in my lap or at my feet. Then he’d jump down, back up, and stare at me with these huge bulging eyes for what seemed like minutes. The owner loved it when I humored Oreo, but when she left me alone with him I just wanted to… well, sorry. I know it wasn’t the dog’s fault. But I think you understand what I mean.
The owner said she really would like to break him of the habit. I suggested she only play ball outside, never inside. He’ll then have to develop a new habit indoors. Like cuddling maybe? Or letting you pet him? Now there’s a wonderful use for a dog! So she decided to try it. It took awhile, but he began to settle down. He continued to hunt for a ball or toy in the house (but she had them all outside), and eventually he gave up. I knew there was hope for him when one morning before I left he jumped on my bed and surprised me with a big wet kiss on the mouth! Nice! But it was good to leave on that note.