How to play well with your dog?

To do well, it is not enough to play with your dog regularly. To avoid boredom and break the routine, it is essential to vary the dog games . Find the right balance when playing with your dog: don't overexert your pet with games that are too intense or too long, and avoid boring, repetitive and low-stimulating games.

To play well with your dog, you must adapt the activities to the abilities and individual needs of your pet. So, some will like to find and bring back a good old wooden stick, others will prefer to nibble on a dog chew toy or try to pull a knotted rope from their master's hand. The most important thing for you is to know how to detect when your dog invites you to play.

When playing catch with your dog, do not throw it in his direction. He must preserve his hunting instinct, and what prey would go straight into the mouth of the wolf? To play well with his dog, a handler should always throw the ball away from his dog.

Do not hesitate to get closer to your dog to play with him, by rolling on the ground for example. This advice is especially valid if you have a young puppy . He will learn that humans, too, can lie on the ground. Thus, if he comes to be confronted with this situation later, he is not likely to adopt an aggressive behavior.

On the other hand, if your dog starts to be a bit too brawling and wants to dominate the game, stop it immediately! By playing with his siblings, your puppy must have already learned the consequences of “biting” during play. Young puppies have not yet learned not to bite but already know that when they bite too hard, play. stops immediately, with their master or with a four-legged companion.

  • Never force your dog to play with you.

  • It is a good idea to go regularly to the veterinarian with your sick or elderly dog in order to detect any pain that he might feel, following excessive play.

  • Immediately stop playing when your dog becomes too playful.

  • Never let your dog and child play together unsupervised.

  • Always keep treats on hand, which you use as rewards.

First, let's take a look at the reasons for not playing ball-throwing games (or other toys):

Reason # 1: It strengthens his chasing instinct:

If you have a dog who already has a tendency to chase after bikes, cats or the like, it means that his instinct to pursue is manifested in his daily life. However, by playing catch with your dog, you teach him to run after something and to congratulate himself on catching it. You can imagine that after that, wanting to prohibit him from chasing anything other than his ball will be perceived as inconsistent by your dog. Likewise, toys with “pouic pouic” can also reinforce the predatory instinct.

Reason # 2: It makes your dog build up excitement very (too) quickly:

Ball-tossing games can be particularly exciting for your dog who may have a hard time coming down from this strong and rapid rise in energy. If your dog tends to be nervous or dynamic in nature, education and play should be more about inhibition than excitement.

Reason # 3: It spends your dog “stupidly”:

Running after a ball at full speed and repeating this action over and over again allows your dog to exercise himself physically. However, the more your dog engages in this activity, the more endurance he will be and the faster and faster he will recover.

So the idea of ​​throwing the ball at him until your dog is tired will be effective but not in the long run. In addition, there is no reflection for your dog in this type of activity, so your dog can become completely "fixed" on his ball, especially if you have a working dog

There are other ways to play with your dog while seeking to spend it mentally rather than physically. Because even if the physical expense should not completely disappear, it should not be the only way to go.

There are other reasons for not playing the ball throwing games, and I invite you to check them out if this topic interests you. But now on to the activities, with a ball and even some throwing games, which can be set up and which will be useful and positive for your dog!

It is true that for most masters throwing games are the only ones possible, just not knowing how to play otherwise. Here is how to play with your dog:

  • Tugging games: Your dog can learn to grab a toy or a sausage in his mouth on your indication, tug and stop on your request. By repeating this exercise, you create a nice bond with your dog, you spend it and above all you help him to better manage his frustration and his states of excitement.

Warning: these games can quickly overflow and it is best to call in a professional dog behaviorist trainer and your veterinarian if your dog shows signs of hyperactivity before starting to practice this type of game.

Tip : If your dog never wants to let go of his toy, do not hesitate to exchange it for another toy of the same value or even a treat, you will thus teach him the “Give”. On this last point, also be in the anticipation and stop your dog before he is too excited. In short, you must always remain in control of the playing session.

  • Search games: Your dog is a truffle on a leg, in other words, he likes and needs to smell various smells. This forces him to concentrate, which will tire him out. To set up this type of game, you can proceed in various ways. Your dog can look for treats and even his meal in the garden, he can also learn to look for his toys, or learn to look for you, etc.

  • Educational games: Learning directions, such as sitting down or lying down, should be fun for your dog. Thus, educational games are very beneficial because in addition to positively reinforcing the education of your dog, you maintain a good bond and you spend it mentally.

  • The games of complicity: You can also play with your dog without artifice, just with your good humor and your positive energy. Running, calling your dog in the garden, being in a positive and enthusiastic conversation is very beneficial. The important thing is to always stay in control of the situation and to stop the game if your dog becomes brutal. He must indeed learn that humans, unlike other dogs, are more physically sensitive.

  • Games to file a canine instinct: If you have a hunting dog, or even a sheepdog, you know that your dog has more or less marked instincts. The advantage of setting up games related to his instincts is that it allows you to file them, to shape the instinct in question in order to better control your dog.

Example : Do you have a Border or a sheepdog? I invite you to take an interest in Treibball. This activity teaches your dog to listen to you in his herding instinct and it will also allow your dog to express himself in his true nature while feeling useful.

  • Ball games ... otherwise : ball games can also be a good way to play with your dog. You can, for example, teach your dog to bring back a toy previously placed in your garden. This rapport activity is very beneficial for your dog as it reinforces the learning of remote directions and forces your dog to control himself.

You can also, and this is very important if you have a dog who tends to be in a chasing spirit, teach him to stop mid-run. In short, your dog must see his ball leave and stop halfway on your indication.

This exercise will be a very good training to stop him in everyday life, especially if your dog has a tendency to run after bikes or the like. To set up this exercise with your dog, you need to break down each step of the process.

First, teach your dog to stop, for example by walking on a leash. Next, you should work on place-keeping exercises, such as the “sit”, “lie” and “still” positions. Finally, you must work on all these indications with increasingly important stimulation and always congratulating your dog on his good behavior. In short, in order to be able to work positively, you will have to work gradually.

In conclusion, playing with your dog is essential for his expense, your relationship and his education, but it must be done smartly. Each dog will have their own preferences and needs, so let's not forget that the most important thing is always to adapt to your dog, depending on his age, sensitivity and energy.

It's your turn !