Reinforcing Good Playtime Manners With Your Puppy
We know why incorporating puppy playtime is important for your puppy’s growth and development! Now, let’s go over some tips to manage your pup’s behavior during playtime together.
Over Excitement is Common!
Sometimes, if your puppy becomes too over excited during play, they may come for your hands or feet. Hands and feet move, so they’re like puppy magnets! Don’t worry, this behavior is totally normal and just takes some patience and redirecting. Try presenting a rope toy to play tug-of-war with your puppy and direct them to take the middle while you take both ends. This is a good starting point/concept with toys to steer them away from your hands.
If your pup is overly excited, pay attention to your own energy level and tone of voice you’re using. Having a calm demeanor and voice can help regulate your pup, since they so often mirror us. If this doesn’t help, take a play break so they can settle down in their kennel or playpen with a chew toy.
Additionally, here are some pointers to follow to help you work on instilling good play behaviors in your pup!
Dos and Don’ts
Do- Play games like fetch to stimulate your puppy’s natural drive. This and other mental games burn energy and make your pup really use their brain.
Do- Encourage your puppy to practice basic commands while playing. Training sessions can be a lot for a little puppy with a short attention span. Incorporating commands into play helps reinforce the commands by keeping your pup entertained!
Do- Make play a part of your daily routine. Setting aside time to play will help maintain consistency with enforcing basic commands and the good behaviors you’re working on together!
Do- Pay attention to your own energy level and tone of voice. If you want your pup to be calm, be calm. If you want your pup to let loose and get excited, be excited! Dogs are our mirrors, and they learn a lot from us just by observing.
Don’t- Leave your puppy unsupervised during playtime, especially with toys or things they could pull apart and ingest or choke on.
Don’t- Allow your puppy to continue to nip at you or your hands. This behavior can lead to more problems as they grow into adulthood and get bigger/stronger.
Don’t- Get upset with your puppy for rough play. Don’t get emotional, yell, or get physical with them- this will do more harm to your puppy and your relationship with them. Remember, they are just babies, and they are learning! Using a calm, stern “No” is perfectly fine if it is backed up with proper training and guidance.
Trust The Pros!
If you’re looking for some advice or help with training, contact the training professionals at Puppy Play and Stay. Getting early intervention from a certified trainer can make all the difference in your dog by providing them (and you!) with the right skills to last a lifetime. Contact us today for training, or to inquire about daycare and boarding.