Your dog doesn’t necessarily need dog friends to have fun. It is your job as a dog owner to play with your puppy. Playtime is a great way to bond, activate zoomies, improve the neutrality skills of your puppy, and do some training.
What a lot of dog owners do not understand is that you cannot just throw a toy at your puppy and expect him to play with it.
That is the wrong way to train your dog and play with your pet. You can never get a well-behaved puppy with that type of playing. What you actually get is a dog that has no interest in you, and all he cares about is the toy.
Now, you might think that is good, your dog will play with its toy and that is that. But he will not listen to you. What happens when you want to call your dog? He will go for the toy, not you.
Why should you play with your puppy?
Adding playtime to your training will be the best thing you can do. It will make your experience and journey much easier, and your bond with your pet much better.
Playtime can also help to improve focus on a handler and help the dog to improve his neutrality skills. There is no time for fixation when you play. Your dog focuses on you because you are the source of fun.
Playing is an important part of mental stimulation and a great way of exercising at the same time. Mental stimulation is often an underrated part of a dog’s life. Without proper mental stimulation, your dog will not be happy. Trust me when I say it.
Speaking of games you can play, the list is enormous. One might say limitless. You can play different games. Fetch, play with a flirt pole, tug toy, or anything else. Tug will increase his focus on you much more than anything.
You can do some agility and parkour. Or if you have a dog that loves to run, you can play something like hide and seek or chase.
How to make sure your dog wants to play?
There is a simple answer to this one. Always be the one accepting the play. Yes, your dog might initiate playtime a lot. Now, there is a limit. You do not want your dog to become needy and ask for play all day long. Yet, it is important to give your dog an idea that you will accept his will to play, how he wants and when he wants it
This will increase your dog’s will to play with you. Not alone, but with you. And the more he plays with you, the more he is willing to train with you. Your dog will crave mutual interaction.
See? Fun = improved training = happy dog. These things just go hand in hand.
What game to play with your puppy?
The most important part about playing is understanding which type of playing suits your dog. For example, bullies love to play tug of war. Jack Russells as well. For hunting and hound breeds, or dogs with high prey drive, a flirt pole is an amazing choice.
But no matter what you choose, just play with your dog. It is motivating, useful, and fun. Analyzing your dog and understanding its breed characteristics play a huge role here.
Now, there are exceptions to the rule. But generally speaking, breed standards apply. The trick is finding what motivates your puppy and make it a reward for successful play.
You can use the game and the reward for your dog training.