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How To Spend Time With Your Dog at Home?
How to Spend Time With Your Dog At Home?
Spending time with your dog can be a cathartic experience for both you and your little fur baby. You can look at the time you spend with your dog as a daily cardio routine, or simply to let the energy from the cosmos flow through your dog, into you.
There is no set routine for good playtime, but it is important that you spend atleast 20-30 minutes each day ( preferably twice a day ) with your puppy either outside, in the terrace or even inside your home. Dogs are pack animals, and they enjoy time they spend with us and other dogs. Playtime provides benefits for your dog’s physical and mental health as well. Here are some ways that playtime will enrich your dog’s life.
Important Discussion Points In This Guide
- Bonding With Your Dog
- Training New Commands and Vocabulary
- How Should I Regulate My Doggy Playtime?
- Some Games to Play With Your Dog
- Some Toys To Use During Playtime
Bonding Time With Your Dog
One of the greatest benefits of playtime is that it provides individualized bonding time with your dog. Some dogs enjoy playtime so much that they will bring a favorite toy to their human companion when they want to play, or stand by the place where you store their favorite toys to drop a not-so-subtle hint that they want to play. It is their way of communicating and saying, “Please come play with me now!” Playtime can become a favorite part of a dog’s day. If you have more than one dog in your home, playtime is a good way for them to bond with each other as well.
"Playtime can be a beautiful way you can bond with your dog. You can establish your alpha-nature perfectly during playtime."
Establishing the alpha or the pack leader of the house is absolutely critical for a happy relationship between pet parent and the pet. The puppy needs to identify the pack leader and as a den animal, just loves to follow rules and obey the pack alpha. Playtime can be a great opportunity to reaffirm the importance of the position of the pack leader who provides entertainment and rules that need to be followed.
Training New Words, Vocabulary and Tricks For Your Dog
Schedule time for intentional pet playtime
Fifteen minutes of vigorous play can be equivalent to an hour’s walk. Many owners do not realize that games during playtime are also good vocabulary builders. When it’s all part of a game that he enjoys, your puppy will very quickly learn the meaning of many words long before he is ready for formal training.
Playing with your puppy provides an excellent opportunity to observe his actions and reactions and to become acquainted with his innate character. Games develop alertness and intelligence and can also satisfy instincts for hunting, retrieving, and tracking. Terriers like to dig, wrestle, and fight, generally going for their mock adversary’s throat. Greyhounds chase, corgis nip heels, and many working dogs prefer practical exercises to playful games.
Different Breeds of Dogs, Adopt different ways of playing with their pet parents.
Playtime is for puppies, adult dogs and dogs of all ages and breeds.
No matter what kind of play your pup likes to participate in, encouraging playtime will have a big impact on your canine friend’s overall health and well-being. Dogs of all ages benefit from daily play sessions. From puppies still learning to control their limbs to senior dogs with a lot of vitality left, all dogs will benefit from playtime in one way or another.
How Should I Regulate My Playtime?
Here’s a few tips to keep playtime fun and balanced:
1: Is your dog in a calm but alert state of mind before you throw the ball? Is she trying to grab it out of your hand? Jumping up? Or is she sitting and staring at the ball? Make sure she’s sitting and give you eye contact. This establishes control and your dog will know that the reward for her attention being on you is the ball.
2: What is your energy level like? Are you hyping up your dog by speaking in an upbeat, excited tone? Or are you using a calm tone? Make sure that you are using a calm tone that’s playful. You may need to practice this for a bit to make sure you have it down. Once you and your dog have this connection where she makes eye contact, and you control the excitement level, it’ll make ending playtime, going on walks, and making sure your dog listens to you improve as well.
3: Is your dog ball obsessed? If so, work on desensitizing her. Allow her to play with the ball at home in the yard without interaction from you. Let her carry it around, sit with it, or whatever she likes to do. At some point she will get bored and drop it. It helps over time to make the ball less enticing and not as much an object of worth as she thought or felt it was before. You may want to also introduce other toys so your dog understands that there are plenty of other toys out there to play with and the ball is just one of many.
4: Make play time not as high energy by taking your dog on a long walk or jog beforehand. Some of the pent up energy will have been spent sniffing, walking, and exploring the streets. She’ll have enough energy to play but won’t be as nutty as usual. This also helps condition your dog to know how to play and not run over and knock you down. Also try playing games with the ball or frisbee, such as hiding it and letting her find it or tossing it different ways so it’s not always a long pass. Take breaks and play with other toys as well. It’ll keep the play time fun, light, and help dissipate any obsession over one toy and break the mind from obsessing.
A Magic Trick : Using Food in Combination with Play!
Our resident Pet Behaviourist explains why find’n’seek food games are so much fun. Your dog will also love playing these games as part of dog playtime – after all, every clever animals loves a challenge.
In short, your dog has a lot of natural intelligence that need to be exercised in order to keep them satisfied – and one of the best ways to do this is by making them ‘hunt’ for their food.
A dog that has their food given to them in an easy or ‘boring’ way will want to occupy themselves in another manner – perhaps by chewing the sofa, vying for your attention, or playing with things you don’t want them to, all of which might develop into a behavioural problem without care. Bored pets may also sleep a lot – which makes them more lethargic, which in turn makes them want to exercise even less, leading to more weight gain. Rather than enter that vicious circle, a good find’n’seek food game will combine eating with exercise, just as your dog would do in the wild.
In fact, making your dog’s meal a form of playtime means they’ll never be bored by their dinner – and you’ll probably have tonnes of fun into the bargain!
Protect Your Dog During Playtime
Protect your dog during playtime. Supervise play until you know how your dog reacts to a toy. Some dogs can play with a stuffed toy for years, gently mouthing it or just carrying it around. Other dogs will destroy a stuffed toy immediately. Chew toys are the same. Some dogs can get hours of enjoyment and never destroy the toy. Other dogs rip out pieces, which may present a choking hazard. If your dog doesn’t choke, he might still ingest part of a toy, which could lead to intestinal blockage.
See how your dog plays with a toy before ever leaving him alone with it, and even then, check the toy’s condition periodically. A determined canine may still be able to destroy a toy labeled “indestructible”.
Technically no toy is indestructible. But some toys can last longer depending on how you use it during the playtime and the breed of your dog. For example, rottweilers and pittbulls have incredible jaw strength and no toy will last too long.
Some Simple Games to Play With Your Dog
GAMES FOR YOU AND YOUR DOG
Here are a few recommendations for playtime that will really set tails to wagging for most dogs:
An age-old favorite. For some dogs, fetch comes naturally. Others need to be taught. And the toy you use can make all the difference. For some dogs an old stick will do just fine. Others will really perk up with something like a Frisbee or a tennis ball. (But don’t use a regular Frisbee or tennis ball; they can hurt your dog’s teeth. Buy one made for dogs.)
Tug of war.
Most dogs love this game, but you have to enforce some ground rules to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. Before you play, teach your dog to release upon command. Watch your dog’s behavior while playing. A tail-wagging growl is OK; a more serious growl isn’t. If the dog’s teeth accidentally touch your hand, stop immediately. And it’s OK to let your dog win!
Hide and seek.
Grab a treat – a really good treat – and hide somewhere. But don’t make it too hard; ‘hide’ someplace fairly obvious, like a chair, an open door, or a small bush. Now call your dog and wait for it to find you. When it does, praise it and give it the treat. With patience, you can also teach your dog to find hidden objects other than yourself.
If you’re physically up for it, most dogs love to be chased and play keep-away. But your dog will likely last a lot longer at this game than you will!
Keep in mind that not all dogs enjoy every form of play. They’re just like people in that respect; each dog has its individual likes and dislikes.
So experiment with different games, and learn which ones your dog seems to enjoy most. If your dog doesn’t really seem to enjoy a particular playtime activity, there’s no point in continuing to play that game. Just pick another.
HOME ALONE ENTERTAINMENT
If you’re away from home for long periods, then your dog needs to be able to entertain itself. But the majority of dog toys are not safe for unsupervised play. Some chew toys and plush toys, for example, should only be given to your dog when you’ll be around to keep an eye out for problems.
There are some categories of toys, though, that are perfect for the purpose of doggy home alone play:
Food dispensing toys.
Toys that contain a tasty treat can keep your dog entertained for hours. You can buy toys that you can stuff with a treat, and that the dog will chew and lick to get to the treat. And you can buy toys that hide a treat, requiring your dog to solve a puzzle to get to the goody – sort of a doggie Rubik’s Cube.
Very hard chew toys.
Toys like Nylabones (nylon) or Linkables (hard rubber) are unlikely to splinter or come apart in large chunks. But don’t leave your dog alone with toys of this type UNLESS you’ve already observed your dog at play with them. If you’ve learned that your dog is a very aggressive chewer, even these hard chew toys aren’t suitable for unsupervised play.
Be sure to bring out the these toys ONLY when your dog is home alone. Don’t have them available to your dog all the time. If your dog has continuous access to the toys, they will soon become commonplace and boring, and lose their effectiveness as home alone time fillers.
Choose Some Toys For Your Playtime.
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