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Dogs love to play same as people do, and this is an unquestionable matter anymore. They are naturally provoked by the idea of doing that similar action called the game, over and over again, just for the sake of having fun along with accompanying game buddies.
For a dog owner, engaging in a game with his dog is essential as the ideal way to build bridges of effective communication with canine – something that remains the key aspect of a healthy dog-human relationship.
When your dog plays, his learning abilities develop quick, together with his physique and sense of socialization. A dog not properly entertained is a bored and selfish dog, and at times even destructive.
Playing with your Dog
For that reason, frequently involving a dog in an endless joy of a play is something every owner must consider an obligation towards his beloved canine. Even that every responsibility crashes as boredom and tiring task, this is only a myth that needs to change when it comes to playing with a dog. There are so many win-win elements for both, the dog and the owner that you must be happy. A play with a dog is a perfect time for any person to be engaged in that fun physical commitment in the meantime burning calories, releasing unneeded energy, fighting stress and overlooking worries – this way avoiding endless potential health problems.
Although, when humans and dogs interact in a game, as of being dissimilar beings, they need to properly adopt into each other’s life. It is on humans, whose first emotion is the reason, to understand dog’s, whose first emotion is instinct, world and how the way how they actually play and behave in a game. This for the fact that humans are those who need to set needed limitations and boundaries by taking the required lead of the game, depending on the dog’s personality and temperament.
Accordingly, next, we will highlight a few essential elements to consider by the owner before engaging himself in a play with his adored canine.
Basic Rules of Playing with a Dog Fun and Safely
Playing with a dog involves a process that requires preparation and rules that you need to follow correctly, in case you are expecting to build a strong and healthy connection with your dog in a game. Lacking to know or follow these basics, this entertaining time might turn into a confusing and unpleasant instance for you and the dog, turning the dog into your leader.
To avoid this, before starting any game with your dog, remember:
- You Cannot Be Superior – do not try to take away things with force from your dog, instead, learn your dog proper commands such as “leave it” or “drop it”
- You Cannot Be a Punisher – Do not yell at the dog and do not bring negative energy into the game, instead try to repeat the game until the dog understands it accurately trying to stay positive and charming
- Be An Easy Player – If you play rough and engage the dog in fighting games this can make your dog overexcited and sometimes even aggressive, as an alternative, focus on a regular social game and break the game when you feel the dog is taking it too intensely, as a form to avoid driving any violent behavior in a dog.
- Include Toys – Presence or lack of presence of multiple play objects, on the driven way, affects the flow of the game. In general, dogs enjoy mouthing objects due to their natural oral instinct, so make sure to play games that include mouthing. Yet, as there are different dogs, there are two types of toys you should provide in a game: pacifier toys or chew toys and interactive toys such as balls, tug, and squeaky toys.
- Be Consistent – Regularly involve the dog in indoor and outdoor games. Avoid taking a break from the game, when your dog cannot walk your dog outside for an outdoor game, consider playing those fun indoor games as an alternative.
- Keep the Game Short – Do not engage your dog in game sessions more than 5 minutes, in its place, make brakes after every 5 minutes as it avoids dog exhaustion and helps to keep the game interesting to the dog.
- Matter Your Voice Tone – It is important to use a stimulating and positive voice, for keeping the dog dynamic and stimulating. If not, the dog can be bored and sometimes might take the game too seriously.
- Stay Cool – Despite from the direction the game takes, you are the one responsible to lead it and calm things down, so is very important for you to remain calm and assertive during the whole game sessions.
- Be Fun And Make The Game Entertaining – Never take the game too seriously or let the dog be too worried about winning the game. Instead, leave the game when the dog is intensely into competing for mood.
- Do Not Overexcite The Dog – Make sure to not push your dog into any challenge or tease, as dogs can become overexcited causing a dominant and pushy behavior that you do not want for your dog to have it, as it might cause loss of the control over him and he might have problems following your commands, as a result.
- Do Not Become A Toy Yourself – Never make a mistake trying to unconditionally make your dog pleased including making yourself a toy for the dog, i.e. leaving your dog to use your body, your clothes, or your body accessories. Do not make fun of yourself acting like a dog, sitting on hands and knees and barking at the dog, pushing or wrestling with your dog, as this only will invite some a negative behavior towards you, such as biting as the dog will consider you as another canine buddy.
- Let Your Body Language Speak – Keep the required body posture and use the necessary serious, but not negative, tone of voice at times that you see your dog is not taking you seriously. The dog needs to be reminded who is the leader.
- Do Not Give Away Toys Easily – To make the game fun and interactive you need to make the dog win the toys through the game, so avoid putting them in a place when the dog can access them easily, as this might cause loss of interest for the play.
- Create Rules Before – Before starting a game, it is important for the dog to understand several essential dog-ruling commands, that should be taught by training – necessary to keep the proper verbal communication with the dog, such as “sit”, “stay”, “get it”, “fetch”, “out”, “bring it here”, “leave it”, and much more.
- Control The Game – The abovementioned and other dog commands help you on strengthening dog good behaviors in a game, i.e. if the dog is jumping up too much give the command “off” to stop it, or, if the dog is barking give a “quiet” and so on. You are the one to decide when it is time for the game and when to end it, not the dog.
- Matter the place – In most games, a stable field to play is required, usually geographically safe. Geographical location of play is not a matter of indifference to players, so make sure the place is safe and friendly.
Selecting the best game for the dog is a little hard, as this depends on multiple factors such as breed group, breed, age, energy, size of the dog, and much more.
Regardless of this, some mostly played games that most of the dogs adore are listed as follow:
- Hide and Seek Game
- Batter Up Game
As previously mentioned, most of the games require to include toys. Making sure you are using the proper toys for your own dog is essential. As well, accurately maintaining them after and during every game is very important, as they might contain bacteria, dirt, or any damaging tinny part that your canine can chew and swallow. Likewise, changing toys from time to time might be very interesting for the dog, encouraging him more for a play.
Benefits Dogs get from Playing
Dogs are natural players and seem that is almost the most enjoyed activity they do.
Nonetheless, there are so many other benefits behind it that probably dogs are not aware of that we will list as below:
- Enhances Their Learning Capability
- Makes Them Social
- Helps Releasing Needless Unexpressed Energy
- Stands As A Great Mental Incentive
- Remains The Perfect Physical Activity
- Fights Monotony
- Battles Illnesses