Toys and playtime are important to your dog at any age. Playtime can be anytime you have a few minutes or when you have more time for a planned activity. Playtime with your dog can be as simple as tossing a ball or take a little time to set up such as an obstacle course for example. While you are making playtime fun you also have opportunities to practice verbal and non-verbal communication, build your relationship with your dog, improve memory skills, and to develop physical coordination.
Easy and quiet play indoors — Running, chasing ball or toy is outside play.
Remember to keep “indoor” vs “outdoor” play the same for puppies as for adult dogs. Playing fetch is an outdoor game because of slick floors (such as hardwood) are hard on a growing puppies joints. Also, it is like raising children. If you allow them to run and chase in the house there is chaos.
Play a Quick Game of Fetch
This is a Playtime Idea you can make impromptu anytime you have a few minutes. Grab your dog’s Frisbee or favorite rope toy and toss it away from you. This can be a short toss, a moderate jog in the front yard, or a swim time activity. Be mindful of where you are tossing the toy and watch for potential dangers (oncoming traffic, other pets in the vicinity, or obstacles dangers).
Play a Game of Under Over & Through
This game is commonly used as a combination of verbal communication training and scent seeking experience. The idea is to provide a scent (such as a dog treat) and hide the treat. Then give your dog the clue. After a few games you may discover your dog can look for something without as much scent as a treat (such as a toy).
Play an Obstacle Course Game
Begin setting up an Obstacle Course with one or two items such as a stool and a tunnel for example. After your dog has mastered these two parts of the course you will then add two more parts. The Obstacle Course can include easy as well as some challenging sections based on the age, agility, experience, and personality of your dog.
Halo/Ego: 4-08-15 6 weeks playtime video. Click here for archived photos
Dogs Will Enjoy Your Company
Having a great time and building communication is as simple as being available and spending time with your dog. If you don’t have a toy handy thing about what you do have at any given moment which would be a safe prop for a game.
- An empty box (any size) and a healthy treat can easily become a game of Hide and Go Seek.
- A stairway can become a quick exercise opportunity.
- Frisbee or boomerang toss and retrieve.
When you are uncertain what your dog will have the most fun playing give him three toys to choose from and take your cue from the toy he chooses.
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