Playtime with your dog

Playtime with your dog is very important for many reasons. It is a time for exercise, bonding and just plain fun. Below are tips from trainer Aly Delacoeur to keep in mind about playing with your dog:

1. The first tip is to remember that all dogs have different play styles. Some dogs just want to play chase, others want to roughhouse and some are just fine playing some tug-of-war. It is really important to make sure to pair up a dog with an appropriate partner. Some dogs might not like being chased by another dog and could start a fight. Or if a dog really likes to pin another dog down and bite at them and shake them, they should not play with a dog who could get really afraid – another dog might totally love that!

2. Some dogs can sound super ferocious when playing. It might sound like they are killing each other . As a dog owner you need to make sure that both dogs are okay with such “mean talk” and are not intimidated by it.

3. Playtime with your dog means you can roughhouse with your dog too, however  keep in mind not everyone likes that. Teach your dog a cue that means “we can roughhouse now.” I like to use “Come Get Me” or “I’m going to get you”. This way your dog knows when it is okay to go crazy with a human and when it is not.

4. Always initiate playtime with your dog first. You don’t want your dog to start roughhousing unless you have approved it. This way he will not “surprise” another person who comes to your house and who might take it as an attack.

5. You should always supervise your children with dogs. Even the sweetest dog could accidentally hurt a child.

6. Personally, I allow my dogs to play bite me, but some people do not like that. Dogs can learn how to play differently with different people. You just need to have a special word for your dog that tells him “go crazy” — keep in mind, that play biting is only when the dog puts his mouth on you. I stop playing if the dog puts pressure behind his bite.

7. Watch that your dog does not get over aroused. Arousal can turn into aggression. As soon as you think your dog is too wild, just stop playing and be boring.

8. The same thing goes for playing with other dogs. If at any time you feel like one of the dogs is getting a little “crazed” do a short time out. Then let them back to play.

9. When dogs are playing together, make sure no one is holding on to teach other. When a dog holds on to another dog’s skin or fur, injuries can result really quickly. Just say “Ah Ah” and/or separate them.

10. Do not worry about dogs rolling over too much. You dog is not a “sissy” they might just like to play like that or they could be trying to get at other dog’s level. Especially when playing with puppies.

About Aly DelaCoeur

3970a00c-0b11-4281-86b4-e431cba81193Aly DelaCoeur combines her love of dogs, years of experience, and the most up-to-date animal behavior science in Her goal is to help you andyour dog have a fuller, happier, and more rewarding relationship. Our unique platform optimizes content for consumption and sharing. Content is presented in mobile-optimized, short, to-the-point pieces designed to give just the information the user is looking for whenever they need it.

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