Playtime is good for both puppies and adult dogs as it gives them an opportunity to bond with you and the rest of your family. Dogs that are allowed to have play sessions in the park, or at home, gain confidence while, at the same time, their minds are being stimulated.
Some of the unwritten rules when playing with your dog include that if you are playing a game of tug of war, do not let him win every time. Winning every time will make him think that using his force allows him to take possession of items when he wants them.
One simple game you can teach your dog is to hold out a toy and use the command ‘hold’. When your pet is in the act of closing his mouth around the toy, gently say ‘drop it’ and remove it from his mouth. It is important that you give the toy back to your dog afterwards, together with plenty of praise and a treat.
One of the most popular doggie games is called ‘fetch’:
Wiggle a toy in front of your dog, when he comes towards you, throw the toy a few feet away and say ‘fetch’. When he has picked up the toy, clap your hands and run away from him so he will follow.
When he reaches you then say ‘drop it’. You need to throw the toy again after he has dropped it, to reassure him that he gets his toy back.
If you play ‘fetch’ and your dog refuses to bring the toy to you, then leave it for a while or your dog will think he is in charge.
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