Training, socialization, and positive experiences can all be incorporated into a puppy’s training playtime. Playtime is an important part of your puppy’s routine. It is important to be mindful of the training tips even while playing.
Playtime is a great time to show consistency in positive training. Socialization skills she has learned will begin to blossom during playtime as well.
Training Playtime and Socialization
Playtime is more casual than training time yet it is a perfect time to introduce socialization skills which expand your puppies experiences through touch (texture, toys, and people), sound (clicker, music, or toys), as well as other new experiences for her senses.
Introduce one new experience at a time and be watchful for her reaction. The main thing (as discussed in other socialization posts) is to have a positive approach and not rush your puppy into anything new. Be sure your reaction is warm and understanding.
Training Playtime and Manners
While a puppy is expected to have a lot more freedom during playtime compared to training session you will want to take time to teach playtime manners and behaviors as well. The communication you have learned together during training will work well in the playtime setting.
Be sure your puppy is playing in a safe environment where boundaries are well established (visually as well as command) to ensure he will not wander into areas where wildlife, traffic, or other potential safety issues are present.
Training Playtime and Toys
When you are in a training session with your puppy you will have specific tools to use. You may have a clicker, a treat pouch, a leash, and a mat. These tools provide a visual sign for your puppy to know it is time for class.
It is important to have playtime props as well. Visual signs it is time to play. However as a leader you will be on hand to provide positive communication and praise when your puppy is showing signs of having grasped a skill you have been working on together during a training session.
Training Playtime & Planning Ideas
- Go for a walk: Show your puppy the boundaries for the play area by putting her on a loose leash and walking with her around the inside boundaries of the play area.
- Choose a Toy: Provide a few choices of toys to play with during playtime.
- Provide an empty box or small pool for the puppy to climb in and out of.
- Make a game out of skills she has learned. For example: Put two or three commands she has learned together. Be sure to celebrate while you play!
a. Walking backwards, turn around, and repeat. Add challenges, as he grows older, such as walking backwards up a couple of steps.
b. Lay down, and roll-over.
c. Get it, bring it, leave it, and repeat (fetch game).
Playing games, using training commands he has already learned, can be fun for relationship building as well as a great time to celebrate skills she has learned.