Playing is essential for Dogs: Reasons and Tips

L’importanza del gioco per il cane: motivi e consigli
Playing is essential for every dog. It allows to develop motor skills and correct relationships. Let’s find out something more about such importance and some rules.
Here’s what a playing dog looks like: elbows on the ground, attentive expression, high tail and open mouth.
Our pets really love playing and this activity is also essential to develop motor skills and their ability to relate to the world around them. In this article you will find out why playing is so important and the game…rules!

Playing in puppyhood is crucial!

Play, play and play again! This is a basic activity for every dog. Especially when they are puppies. The playful moment has an educational function and its role supports a correct growth. By playing with their mum or their siblings, puppies develop their attitude and their character, learning important habits such as:
  • building a relationship with other dogs;
  • limiting their exuberance (by controlling their bite);
  • developing self-control and learning what they can’t do.

Playing in adulthood is truly important!

Does an adult dog need to play? Definitely! Even after puppyhood, playing is essential.
First of all, it’s useful to create and strengthen social relationships, both with humans and other dogs. Besides, by playing the dog explores the world, improves physical skills, stimulates the brain and keeps fit, even in adulthood.
Moreover, when dogs play with “their humans”, also the emotional bond improves. Every playful moment is useful for the relationship. Interacting means sharing, better knowing each other and increasing confidence on both sides.

(Five) game rules

You can play countless games with your dog:
  • the “catch the prey” one, that consists in chasing or grabbing moving objects;
  • the “tug of war” one, that consists in a pull and tug game;
  • the “finding” one, in which the dog has to look for hidden objects;
  • the “collaborative” one, known as “fetch”.
However, whatever game you will play, you mustn’t forget some rules. We identified 5 main rules to keep in mind, which are:

  • 1. Stick to a routine, spending at least 10 minutes per day playing. Try not to do it after meals or when it’s too hot. Not only you will spend time together, but also your relationship will improve.
  • 2. Adapt playing time to your dog’s age, features, needs and physical condition.
  • 3. Choose the right place: outdoor, go for a quiet space. Avoid loud and dangerous places, or those where your dog may be overstimulated or other dogs are present, due to possible competitions and fights. If possible, create a playing space also at home.
  • 4. You have to make game’s decisions, setting a beginning and an end. Choose a “stop” signal to use if your dog is too nervous. If you interrupt the play and ignore their actions, they will process the situation and unlearn the bad habit.
  • 5. Give them a treat when they deserve it. At the end of the game, in case of good behaviour, give them a snack. This will push them to repeat positive actions and the play will turn into a fun and educational moment!

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