Playing with your puppy is a daily activity that is not only useful to amuse and tire him, but is also essential for his proper development and growth. But… Did you know that not all ways to play are correct?
Benefits of the game for your puppy.
Prevent him from having unwanted behaviors, such as breaking things, biting his tail, etc. Puppies need daily mental and physical exercise to expend energy and if they don’t this energy will be released in a bad way.
Learn basic rules. Not only what you teach him with obedience exercises such as sit, stay, release the ball, etc., but he will also realize what the limits are to respect others, such as how hard he can bite.
Encourage your physical exercise: This helps you have good muscle development, cardiovascular health and keep excess weight at bay.
Activate your mind: Contrary to what many believe, this exhausts you more than physical exercise and reinforces your intellectual development.
He forms emotional bonds with you by doing an activity he enjoys.
Teach him to play properly.
Our puppies learn through play, so we must teach them to entertain themselves with different types of toys without destroying them. Your puppy can be a nibbler, biting toys relaxes puppies. But it should NOT be destructive.
A good exercise is to give him a toy and, if we observe that he bites aggressively, we should take it away and give him another. In this way, he will learn to identify which things he can bite with more force and which with less. For this reason we recommend that you have at least 3 toys of different textures and densities.
It is very important, at this time, to teach your puppy the difference between a toy and something that can NOT be chewed on, like your hand or your things. If he starts playing with your hands or feet, complain with an “Ouch!” and stop the game immediately and then come back. If you don’t correct this behavior as soon as possible, it will continue to do so as an adult.
Although it cannot be prevented from biting because it is a natural behavior in dogs, it can be educated so that it does not bite you, nor does it excessively bite its toy.
In games, you always have to let him win so as not to generate frustration, give him the rope, the ball, etc. If you want to get the toy back, you ask him and, with positive reinforcement, prizes or caresses, you teach him to return it to you. If you notice that he doesn’t want to return the toy and/or gets a bit aggressive, stop the game. Make it clear that you don’t play that way and that if you behave like that the game is over.
Do not turn the game into an obsession, play calmly and in control and help him think and moderate himself, remember that all excesses are bad, it is not good for everything to be intense. A “correct” game is one that helps you calm down, and for that, you need to be at moderate levels of arousal. If you see your puppy getting overexcited, he will wait for him to calm down and then continue playing with a lower energy. An overexcited dog does not listen to us and may react badly. A good way to identify if he is in this state is by giving him orders that he normally obeys, for example “sit”; if he doesn’t then it’s a signal to stop the game.
What should I NOT do:
• Leave toys freely available: When they finish playing, you have to put the toys away.
• Leaving your puppy with toys without supervision: The safest toy can be unsafe.
• Allow him to play with things that are not toys, like your slippers.