Playing with your Puppy


Playing with your Puppy

The Stay Command

Chewing Behavior

Surviving the Heat

Taking your Dog Running

Swimming with your Dog

Coping with Car Sickness

Puppy Play & Exercise


Creating a Safe Haven

Basic Obedience Training

Training a Dominant Dog

Understanding Pack Mentality

Training Do's & Don'ts

Dog Doesn't like Socializing

Dog Friendly Lawn Care

Help for Grieving Dog

Spaying & Neutering

Ground Rules on Growling

Who's Training Who?

Before Bringing Puppy Home

Harmful Foods

Does Your Puppy Have Worms?

Living with a Puppy

Teaching Puppy Commands

Cleaning up after Puppy

Puppy-Child Bond

Time & Finances

Sharing Your Home

Puppies Get Stressed Too

An Independent Puppy

Dealing with Fleeing Pup

Pups Adolescent Behaviors

Socializing Your Puppy

Clear Communication

Leader of the Pack

There are many games you can play with your puppy, and the rewards are extensive. Through games, you can teach your puppy the difference between playing with humans and playing with his littermates. It's natural for puppies to wrestle with and nip at their littermates, but this behavior should be discouraged with humans. It's important that you help your puppy's socialization along by teaching him appropriate play behavior in a consistent manner. Through play you can also train your puppy to respond to your commands, and to repeat behavior that is rewarded. Always remember that if the weather is hot outside games should be played in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. Provide your puppy with lots of fresh water and watch for signs that he is overheating.

What kinds of games are okay?
To train your puppy so that he behaves well with others don't let playtime turn into a wrestling match. Puppies do wrestle with their littermates, but should not be encouraged in this behavior during play with humans. It's important that they learn that aggressive behavior is not acceptable. Play games that will train your puppy to find objects, or to come when you call. They should also be taught that you decide when games start and when they end. When playtime is over your puppy should not be playing tug-o-war games with your curtains.

You can train your puppy to come when he is called by enlisting the help of others. Arm yourself and at least one other person with treats. Stand a distance away from each other, and take turns calling your puppy. When your puppy runs to the person who has called his name, reward him enthusiastically with praise and a treat. Your puppy will learn to repeat behavior that is rewarding.

Go on puppy: find it!
"Find it" is a game that you can use to have fun with your puppy while practicing a few commands. With the help of a friend you can practice the sit and stay commands. Have your friend gently hold the puppy in a sitting position. Use the command "sit" as your friend gets the puppy in position and the command "stay" as your friend holds your pup in position. Show your puppy the treat you want him to find and where you are hiding it. It should be a very easy location at first, such as under a towel laid on the grass. At your command of "Find it" your friend should release the puppy. When the puppy finds the object he should be lavished with praise. Gradually you won't need to enlist the help of others for this game. Your puppy will have learned to "sit" and to "stay" and to "find it." The game can be made more difficult over time and eventually your puppy will be able to find almost anything.

Playing safe with your puppy
When playing chase and fetch games, don't use sticks as they may injure your puppy's sensitive mouth. Rubber squeak toys are a good alternative. If you are using a ball, make sure that it's small enough for your puppy to pick up easily, but not so small that your puppy could swallow it. The best place to play with your puppy is in an enclosed yard. If this is not possible and you are playing in a public dog park you will have to adjust the games to observe the rules and keep your puppy safe. In this case, always keep your puppy leashed. Either way, you should identify your pup with a name tag and tattoo or computer chip, and ensure his vaccinations are up to date.

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