How and Why to play with your puppies and dogs
Make a point of playing fetch, playing tug-of-war, and teaching them that the highlight of their day and ultimately their existence is time shared with you.
Play with them like you mean it. Put your heart and soul into it.
Play with them until you’re both exhausted and then keep going.
There are numerous benefits to this that we will explore in this dog training article and video
It’s no surprise that when people don’t do this with their dogs and they “socialize“ their dogs in all the wrong ways, such as dog parks, etc. the dogs learn to be hyper social and their focus for the external creates behavioural issues. By using external stimuli such ans other dogs to play with, dog owners are teaching a convoluted value system that fun is to be had away from you. It’s wonderful that dogs like other dogs. Of course this is helpful in preventing unwanted aggression and they can have fun together, but it comes at a price. Especially if that is the primary means of stimulation and exercise. There is also the risk of the unknown dogs, fights, bullying and aggression. In the best of circumstances you risk a hyper reactive, uncontrollably social dogs.
Bad Dog Training. Unintentionally training dogs to be over excited and easily distracted
What this also means is that the hyper social dogs will lose their ability to focus on their person because they’ve been conditioned that the highlight of their day is away from their person and with other dogs.
Think about it this way: who is a dog going to relate to easier?
Another species? One who doesn’t play with them, form a bond through shared mutual interests and activities, one who doesn’t create a backdrop of adrenaline, excitement and dopamine their interactions?
One of their own who speaks their native language, who can run fast to chase and be chased. One who can entice them to play, jump/chase/bite and feel free. Or a boring human who is nothing more than an Uber to the dog park.
Dog socialization is largely misunderstood by dog owners and many dog trainers and Veterinarians
True socialization is teaching a dog to be comfortable in their environment and ultimately, I want my dog to be neutral to things around him/her so that communication between us is facilitated. Friendly, open and neutral is ideal.
Hyper social and Being hell bent on interacting with everyone and everything does not facilitate living with a dog and creates a dog with a hectic mind.
In our modern world think of the equivalent being trying to have a conversation and the other person is constantly looking at their phone.
It renders the conversation and ultimately interaction and communication meaningless.
Playing tug of war and Fetch with your puppy and Dog
The benefits to this are so numerous.
By teaching this to your puppy they will learn:
- They want to be with you. You are fun!
- It will make obedience training easier because you are the centre of fun.
When I’m with my puppy or any dog for that matter it’s like I get to relive being a child. It’s freedom to act silly, to run around like a lunatic playing with toys and bouncing balls and by the end I’m sweaty and tired.
- Work will = reward later on when the puppy has been conditioned to understand that you set the tone for the games. “Hey Puppy? Want to have fun? Gimme something (sit/stand/place etc..) and you’ll get that game you love so much.”
- Do this with our dogs to help them spend their energy, to create a bond that will complement every aspect of our lives.
Have a look at this video – I have been playing with Hooligan since the day he came home at 8 weeks old. It is the highlight of our days, just as it has been for all my dogs going back decades. I really hope that a few dog owners out there get this message and take it to heart. It will enrich your life with your dog more than you know. ♥️
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