The Importance of Play

Did you know that playing with your dog is healthy for both Fido and YOU? Here are some facts you might not know:

  • People, in the contact with animals experience a decrease in blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and a general feeling of well-being.
  • Playing strengthens the bond with your dog. Social activities and play encourage communication between you and your dog, creating loyalty.
  • Playing helps train your dog. Using play with rewards and treats is a great way to encourage good behavior and train him to obey.

It’s important to remember dogs need mental and physical stimulation. Play gives them the chance to use some of their instinctive behaviors, such as hunting, searching, running and jumping. At the same time, it strengthens the bond with your dog. Social activities and play encourage communication between you and your dog, creating loyalty.

Remember the correct ways to play:

  • Stay in control of the game at all times. Show your dog that you’re the pack leader, not just another member of the pack. Retrieval games are good at teaching control.
  • Incorporate the SIT or DOWN and STAY commands in every game.
  • When you’re teaching your dog a new game, reward him when he does well. Remember, rewards don’t have to be just treats. You can also reward him with his favorite toys or lots of hugs and praise.