Let's Get Tails Wagging!
There is not much as heartwarming as watching them romp around and play. Today I watched as my pup and kitten wrestled. It was awesome, teeth and claws flashing, but no one was hurt, and happiness was obvious. For young animals play is a time of discovery, and exploration, and lots of fun. But have you ever stopped to wonder what's really going on when your furry friends are engaging in all that adorable playtime? Let's take a closer look at the world of puppy play!
First things first: what is puppy play?
Playtime is an essential part of any puppy's development. It helps them learn vital social skills, develop coordination and physical strength, and, of course, it's just plain fun! Play can take many forms, from chasing each other around to wrestling to gentle tug-of-war games. The key is that it's all done in good fun and with respect for each other's boundaries.
What does healthy puppy play look like?
Healthy puppy play is characterized by relaxed body language, taking turns, and mutual enjoyment. You'll see lots of wagging tails, playful growling, and even some gentle play biting. Puppy play is also characterized by breaks in the action, where the pups pause to catch their breath or explore their surroundings before resuming play. If one puppy is getting a little too rough, the other will usually let them know with a play bow or by backing off.
How can you encourage healthy puppy play?
There are a few things you can do to encourage healthy puppy play. First and foremost, make sure you're supervising playtime at all times. Puppies can get carried away, and it's up to you to step in if things start to get too rough. You can also provide plenty of toys and games that encourage play, such as balls, tug ropes, and puzzle toys. Do make sure to be aware some dog may fight over toys. While they play nicely don't forget to give your pups plenty of love, treats and attention!
What should you do if puppy play gets too rough?
Even healthy puppy play can sometimes get a little too rough. If one puppy is growling, biting too hard, or otherwise making the other puppy uncomfortable, it's time to step in. You can redirect their attention by calling their name or offering a toy to play with instead. You can also use a long line to gently guide them apart and give them some space to cool off. Always remember to praise them for healthy behavior.
Puppy play is an essential part of any puppy's development. It's a time of discovery, exploration, and lots of fun! By encouraging healthy puppy play and supervising playtime, you can help your furry friends develop vital social skills, physical strength, and coordination.
If you have questions, or if your puppy is having difficulty with appropriate play, don’t wait,……get some help. Training and guidance now, will help prevent issues later. If you want to work with me, I offer three levels of service to choose from. I give lessons, provide follow up help you set goals, and coach you through a fun, easy training process. My focus is to offer your pup training that is most appropriate for them, so they can be a happy, healthy part of your family.
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Debbie Lewis, MS
I educate and support people as they deepen their understanding of their pet's behavior to create happy, healthy pet-people relationships.
Debbie Lewis, MS
Hawaii and beyond
600 Ainako Ave.
Hilo, HI 96720