It amazes me how Chance herds the ball. All the trees have huge snowbanks around them so he runs off and does his pose, and waits for you to throw the ball. He is so intent on the ball that not a muscle moves when he is in position.
He began this strange to us behavior on his own when he was just a pup, about twelve weeks old. We would play ball with him in the house, he would bring the ball to our general area and drop it and then run to hide behind the rocking chair. Sometimes he laid down and waited, other times he waiting crouching with one paw in the air..ready to run. It took quite awhile for him to learn the command "Hand", I taught it to him and he would do it flawlessly for me, depositing the ball in my hand every time I commanded it. It was more of a challenge for Far Guy, he would have to say hand several times..and more forcefully than my simple command "hand." We also taught him "Drop" .. a command to drop the ball on the ground. It works well when he is playing ball with little kids that are too afraid to have him deposit the ball in their hands.
Chance and I play ball in the kitchen every night, I sit on the floor and he plays his version of hockey goalie, I try to get the ball past him and into the dining area where it will bounce off the legs of chairs. When I was not feeling well and on the couch in the evening, he would bring me his ball and wait for me to bounce it off of the coffee table for him to catch in midair. The only draw back to that game is sometimes the ball would escape under one of the couches..then he lays there and whines until you get up and move the couch so he can find his wayward ball. He has many other balls in his enamel toy pan, but once he picks a ball to play with..that is the one he wants, if you substitute a different ball..he just won’t play. He also looks at you as if to say "You must be an idiot, I am not playing with that one today."
Life with a Border Collie is interesting. I am trying to teach him "Yes" and to move his head up and down. He can do it, but chooses to go through his whole list of tricks first, shake, sit, down, and play dead before giving me his attention. Sometimes he is food driven, sometimes he is not. I use the clicker when he is not in a food mood. When he sits in front of me and shuts his eyes.. I know he has had enough. I have just been totally tuned out by a Border Collie:)