Create the best play date
Does your dog need some enrichment? A play date might be in order then- It will provide physical exercise and mental stimulation which will give you a happy and tired pup! Creating a safe play date is important as it will be a positive experience for your pup and he will want to continue to enjoy them if its a positive experience.
Now before you schedule a play date with any dog, it is best to prepare. You will need to evaluate if your dog likes to interact with other dogs. There are some dogs that do not do well with others and that’s fine….they just won’t be having a play date…take them on a nice hike instead! The next thing you will have to ask yourself is how confident is your dog with new dogs and people? The next important question is, does your dog do any resource guarding of things around other dogs? If so, take away toys and food and water bowls. If you have no doubts with any of these precautions, you can proceed with setting up a play date. Once you find your play date partner, begin to introduce them outside of a home by walking on leash and then you can bring them into the home or yard. This will help with any territorial issues and to make sure they are comfortable. The most important reminder is to take it slow. Keep an eye out on the dog’s body language. If they are stiff they are not comfortable in the environment and its time to get them out of the area. Your dog might not like every single dog they meet and that’s ok, just time to find another pup for another time.
Play dates can be a great enrichment for your pup when they are done safely. It builds their confidence and helps build their social skills with other dogs and people too! Have fun!
Tug O’War- A great game for your Pup
Tug O’ War time!
One of Kooper’s favorite games is Tug O’ War with my husband, Scott. It is a nightly ritual in the Anderson house. Scott will say “its Tuggy time,” he will then get the Tug and Koop thinks it’s the best thing since his favorite dog treats! : )
Some people are against playing this game with their pup but if you are doing it the correct way, with rules then it can really benefit your dog. We have learned that it is a great exercise for Kooper and he releases a lot of his energy when playing tug o’ war.
Here are some reasons to play this game with your dog:
- Strengthens bonds: Since this is a game that is played together then your bond will increase because you are spending time together. Interacting with your dog and playing with him will increase that connection to one another.
- Helps teach your dog self-control: When you follow the rules for playing tug you need to have your dog sit and wait patiently when you hold up the tug toy. You only let him grab it when you give him permission. Also, during your playtime randomly tell him to “give” and make him give the toy to you. Once he gives it to you, then you can proceed to play again. Remember when you are not playing to put the tug toy away. Bring it out only when it is time to play.
- Provides a channel for roughhousing and minimizes inappropriate use of teeth: Some dogs just like to chew or bite something. When you tire out your dog they have less of a chance of chewing on inappropriate objects. Tug can be a great exercise that helps your pup get rid of his energy.
Try adding Tug O’ War to your list of exercises to play with your dog. This is also great if it is too hot outside or rainy for a walk. This can be a nice indoor activity for you and your pup pal. Visit your local pet store and check out all of the different tugs. Scott likes the one that has a grip for your hand since Mr. Koop is pretty strong. They should last awhile since you only let your dog play with them when you are playing together.