In most animals, playfulness begins slowly to disappear as they become adults. However, humans bred dogs in such a way that canines maintain playfulness and desire to play lifelong. I guess this is one of the traits that we value in dogs the most. That goofy, enthusiastic, positive behaviour of them that makes dogs hard to resist. Show your puppy that you are fun and play with your dog at home!
Importance of play
Play is important for physical and mental development. Through play, puppies learn coordination, self-defence, bite inhibition and their limits. Orphan puppies or those separated early in life from others, later tend to be poor socialised and aggressive towards other dogs.
In addition to physical and mental benefits, play is also important for strengthening the bond between you and your dog. Playtime helps you understand your dog’s personality and preferences. You can learn a lot about your dog’s likes and dislikes by observing what games they like to play or which toys they prefer. Moreover, playing with your dog can be a great stress-reliever for you as well. It can help you relax and unwind after a long day at work.
Play with your dog at home
So you get a new puppy, what’s next? The key element in building a good relationship play. Your puppy is new at your home and you do not want to burden them immediately with obedience training. First, get to know each other, have lots of fun and when the time is right learning will be a lot easier.
So what should I play with my dog?
Play is a way to drench that excess energy of your pup. Challenging the dog physically and mentally will leave them calmer and less destructive. According to the breed or genes, your puppy may prefer one game or another. There are 4 main categories of games:
Fetch and retrieve – preferred by herding and hunting dogs. Most suitable toys are balls and frisbees.
Tug of war games – guarding dogs like to pull on that knotted rope and they do not give up that easily.
“Shake and kill” are terrier favourite. If you buy a squeaky toy, the game will be twice as exciting!
Hide and search – hounds love it. Any toy or treats will do.
Any game form you choose, buy good quality toys. Take into consideration – the size of your puppy, age and jaw strength. Soft but durable toys will make sure the dog does not injure themselves and does not swallow plastic parts of the toy. Make certain toys special. Once you discover the toy that your dog really likes, keep this toy exclusively for play and do not leave it laying somewhere around for your dog to play alone. Treat the toy as a very interesting and precious animal. Tease your dog by dropping the toy and quickly snatching it again. This toy will become a reward in future training.
Toys are not just for entertainment purposes, they also serve as a valuable tool for training. Toys can be used as a reward for good behavior or to redirect unwanted behavior. For example, if your dog likes to chew on inappropriate objects, redirect their attention by offering them a chew toy. This will help them learn what is appropriate to chew on and what is not. Additionally, rotating your dog’s toys every few weeks can keep them interested and engaged. Introducing new toys can also help prevent destructive behavior that can occur from boredom.
It is important to note that when selecting toys, you should take into consideration your dog’s individual needs and preferences. For example, if your dog has a strong chew drive, choose toys that are designed to withstand heavy chewing. Similarly, if your dog is a senior or has dental problems, choose soft toys that will not harm their teeth. By providing your dog with the right toys, you can ensure that they stay happy, healthy, and engaged.
Keep in mind that puppies do not know initially how to play with humans. They are used to games with other dogs – mouthing, biting, rolling around. You should not tolerate your dog biting your hands or feet. If the play gets rough and out of hand, just say stop and leave the play area.
Incorporate play in your daily life. Advertisement is playing on TV, you are waiting for the toast to be ready, use this chance to play with your dog. Keep many toys hidden around the house or carry one around. Keep the play sessions short and overly exciting. Stop while your dog is still willing to play.
The more time you spend playing with your puppy the more it will adore you. So don’t forget to play with your dog no matter how old it is! Check our Dogo App for more games!