Category Archives: Play

What You Should Know About Protecting Your Dog During Play

When you look at your dog during play, you might think of the play as a fight. That’s the reason researchers refer to dog play as ‘play fighting’. Dogs exhibit behaviors that are seen during actual fights. For example, when two dogs are playing, they might chase and tackle one another. Some dogs are seen biting on the neck of another dog just to pin him to the ground even when they are playing not fighting.

Get a fence

We advocate some kind of fence if you’ll be playing outside with your dog.  A fence is especially important if your dog has a tendency to get overexcited during play which causes him to chase cars, harass people, or attack other animals.  One of the best fence companies in NJ, NJ Fence Pro, points out that there are many types of fence, including wireless fencing, that will contain your dog.

Do you need to intervene?

Despite the overlap in play and fight behaviors, you can always differentiate play fighting from a real fight. For example, some dogs will offer a competitive advantage to the weaker dog during play fighting by rolling on their backs or doing something else to handicap them for a while. This never happens during a real dog fight.

In most cases, play fighting is different from an actual fight and it is easy to tell that they are just playing despite showing behaviors similar to actual fight. However, there might be situations when you’ll need to intervene. For example, if the dogs start growling and their behavior intensifies, their play is about to turn into a real fight.

Despite the fact that majority of people think they are intervening the fight and playing it safe, but this might not be the case. When dogs are play fighting, they are actually negotiating new relationships and there might be a chance to develop a long lasting relationship. When you interrupt, you confuse your dog who is trying to communicate with another dog.

However, sometimes you may actually need to intervene since sometime play fighting can become ‘inappropriate’ play.

How to tell if your dog is ‘play fighting’?

When your dog is play fighting, you could tell from its postures and facial expressions. When it starts getting into a real fight, these two things will change. The dog will move differently and it will be tense.

On the other hand, when your dog is play fighting, it will be relaxed and its movement will be rather bouncy. The mouth will remain open as if it is smiling. This is sure sign that your dog is playing and communicating with the other dog rather than initiating a fight.

What to do if you’re not sure?

Sometimes you might be unsure whether your dog is play fighting or starting a real fight. This is where you have to make an intervention but you’ve to be really careful.

When you intervene, make sure that you keep it light. Don’t pull your dog away with force. Just hold it back gently and see how it reacts. If it cuddles you and hides its face from the other dog, it means your interruption was a relief for your dog. You judged it right. They were not playing but preparing to fight.

On the other hand, if your dog is trying to go back by pulling against your grip, it’s a sign that the dog was communicating and playing. You should release your dog and let him continue playing.

5 Amazing Games You Can Play With Your Dog

We know that you love to play with your dog. The most loved game among dog owners is fetch and play. It is the best opportunity for you to have fun with some exercise as a side advantage.

But if you are looking for some new options to try with your dog that will keep them active and occupied, go for some brain games. It will be great fun. Here are some ideas:

  1. Treasure Hunt

Letting your dog try his nose will be great fun. Keep the level easy in the beginning so that your dog won’t get discouraged. And as your dog gets trained, increase the difficulty level.

Put your dog in a sit-stay and hide his favorite toy at some obvious place. You may let your dog watch you doing it. Give him a signal to find it. Reward your dog every time he gets successful.

As your dog develops interest in the game, hide it in another room or in his food dish. You may increase the number of items to find as days pass. Your dog will enjoy this treasure hunt.

  1. Hide and Seek

We have tried this game as kids, now it’s time to recreate the fun with your dog.

Excite the fun of treasure hunt by being the treasure yourself. You’ll need someone’s assistance to play this game. One person will distract the dog and give him stay and release cues. The other person will hide meanwhile. You can enjoy this game both indoors and outdoors.

  1. The “New Trick” Game

This game is quick to learn for dogs that undergo clicker training. But even if your dog isn’t one of them, don’t panic. Keep the game simple until your dog learns the deal and make it hard gradually.

Here’s how you play it:

You say “new trick” and your dog sits. Give him a treat.

Say again “new trick” and your dog stands maybe. Give him a treat.

“New trick” and your dog rub his nose. Give him a treat and so on.

Repeat the game and give a reward to your dog every time he does something new. If your dog repeats behaviour, don’t reward him. Tell him to do something else.

This game is great fun and your playing sessions may last 30 – 40 minutes.

  1. Hot and Cold

Another clicker training exercise, this behaviour shaping game is awesome. If your dog has a strong brain and he doesn’t get frustrated fast, then this game is perfect for you.

All you need to do is to sit on a couch and make your dog do things you want it to do. Be it anything like opening a door knob, picking keys from the floor or fetching the blanket from the room. Grab your bag of treats and shout HOT when your dog is closer to your target object and throw a treat. When your dog moves away from your target object, quietly say cold and reserve the treat.

  1. Jumping Rope

This game will improve your dog’s eye and body coordination. You need to train your dog on concentrating the pace of the rope, a target object and jumping of course. Train your dog on how to concentrate on a target. Once learned, use a rope. Every time the rope touches the ground, cue your dog to jump. This game demands a lot of physical and mental effort on your part as well as your dog’s. But once trained, you’ll both have a great time.

These were 5 amazing games for your dog. Try them and share your experience with us.