Updated: Jun 24
Why Play Games?
Because they are fun, puppies have the capacity to learn much like a 6 month old infant and they love to explore the world at a great rate of knots. Dogs have been bred to be mans best friend and they love a chance to interact with you and have your undivided attention, they will know if you are watching TV and half heartily playing tug with them so have fun with it and dedicate a little time every day to help your puppy learn and discover the world threw play.
First lets talk about some play basics to help keep things fun and engaging without you turning into a chew tow yourselves.
1. Keep toys low, by moving the toy around the floor you are engaging your puppies chase instincts. dogs are predatory animals and love to engage in a game of chase, there is many ways we can use that to our advantage in training and day to day life. by keeping a toy low to the ground you are also ensuring your puppy doesn't begin to jump or snap for the toy. practice moving it fast and slow, mimic a mouse, cat and rabbit.
2. Always have a toy in your hand, teach your puppy to chew a toy and wrap their teeth around a toy and not your hand, if they divert their attention to you you could either finish play and allow them time to simmer down or you could shake them off and re-engage their interest in the toy. By holding the toy with your whole hand keeping your fingers tucked away you will limit the accidents of teeth catching you.
3. Have a puppy toy box that they can access freely, put toys away and change up the ones left on the floor, you can also put treats and chews in the basket to keep it interesting.
4. Spend some time getting your puppy really interested in playing with you and keep your play sessions short, try to finish the game on a high before they become disinterested. If your puppy gets board and wonders off you have been playing for too long or you could have made the game a little hard for your puppy, keep your play easy for them to win.
5. Keep yourself fun and inviting, keep your voice high, use silly voices, wide open arms, mimic a doggy play bow, run away and just enjoy the opportunity to be a bit silly just for fun.
6. Keep the excitement in proportion to your puppy, if your puppy has the potential to bounce off the walls and start running away with shoes after nipping your fingers you might ant to keep the game toned down to elicit more control. you could then play and practice moments of stillness to break up the excitement and keep it from getting to much. if your pup is the opposite you could ramp up your excitement and spend some time getting to know what motivates your puppy to play.
7. Don't growl, when we play with our pups we do love to growl as we get excited but this is actually a sign of 'no' in doggy language and when a dog learns to growl in play this could later on be miss-understood by other dogs and humans. some dogs love to bark and growl when they play without our influence in this, you will find that when your puppy plays with another dog they might amend their verbal language slightly.
8. If a toy is broken you have 2 choices, throw it away or remove the gubins and have it as a stuffing-less style toy. You don't want your puppy getting into the habit of tearing apart their toys and discovering how much fun it is to tear out the stuffing, or you will constantly be hoovering and buying new toys. if we teach our puppies to chose the right toy for the type of play they want to engage in and look after them then everyone will be much happier feeling understood and the fun can continue. If your pup does start to chew on a toy simply say 'noooo..... and swap it for a chew' you are saying don't chew this but do chew this.
Tug Of War
Teaching - Bite Control, Fetch, Play Rules, Self Control, Give, Hold, End Play, Bonding
The most obvious game we love to play is 'Tug of War' for this you will need a good tug toy, a fluffy teddy bear will just fall apart so pick a good sturdy