How many times has the weather gotten the best of you? Whether it is a snow storm or a torrential downpour, we’ve all been affected by gloomy weather and the boredom it can bring with it. Consider the fact that your dog might feel the same way when he or she cannot take advantage of the great outdoors or spends hours confined in a crate.
Playtime is important for dogs. Play is a means of entertainment, but it can also provide a lot of learning experiences for your canine friend. Responsible pet owners know that their dogs will usually respond positively to play time. Thus, it is very important to provide play opportunities for your four-legged friend.
In addition to providing fun, play activities also teach dogs how to interact with others, whether it is their master or other dogs. Play with other canines can teach dogs about pack dynamics. This is a lesson that they can carry over to interaction with humans.
Playing with your dog can strengthen the bond between the two of you. Trust and friendship are learned through play.
Play also has an effect on behavior. Dogs that do not get exercise and play time can become very destructive. They have pent up energy that they have to do something with. A dog that is tired out from play and exercise is a lot less likely to destroy things in your home.
Play techniques depend a lot on the breed of dog. The best ones are the games that allow a dog to do the things he or she was bred for. For example, retrieving games are always a hit with retrievers. Herding dogs may prefer directional games. Sighthounds like to chase things.
Play can go a long way in building your dog’s confidence. For example, a dog that is used to playing games with you is less likely to be skittish when the unexpected happens. The dog is used to fast-paced change that games can offer.
One might ask what exactly playing with a dog entails. The answer is simple. Play is anything that you and your dog can enjoy together. A game of fetch in the backyard is good playtime. Some dogs love to play a little soccer. Frisbee is another example of play that is sure to improve coordination and burn calories, both of which can help your dog live a long healthy life.
Tug of war is a game that you can play indoors when the weather outside is ugly. However, you should be aware that many dog experts believe that tug of war teaches a dog to be the dominant personality. Thus, it is important that you, the master, control the game.
If your dog is reluctant to play, try coaxing him or her with treats. This is often the key to teaching your dog that playtime with you is something to look forward to.
Many areas offer organized dog activities such as agility, fly ball or tracking games. In some areas, you can even enroll your dog in freestyle dancing activities. A visit to a nearby dog park can provide plenty of play opportunities, which also keep your dog socialized.
It is important to note that your dog should be up to date on vaccinations and health care if he or she visits dog parks. Prevention against the many diseases that can be communicated from dog to dog is a far better option than dealing with the illnesses, some of which can be life-threatening.
Be sure to provide your dog with plenty of fresh water during and after playtime.