Playing with your dog is the fun part of dog companionship, so enjoy it!
Your dog will enjoy it and it is a great form of aerobic exercise.
Never play "catch the dog" sorts of games. This can lead to a dog who is hard to retrieve when you need to go somewhere.
Now is a good time to train the dog a 'drop' command. When the dog drops the toy near you, say "Drop it," then praise the dog. Do this repeatedly until they understand that when you say drop it, they have to release whatever they have in their mouths. If you have a smaller dog that you're not too worried about, you can actually apply gentle pressure at the hinge of the jaw, or gently open the mouth when giving the "Drop it" command. Use their name before the command, so they know it's a command ("Rover, drop it"). Then give lots of praise.
Make sure your dog is well-trained. Some dogs can be overly aggressive and don't realize their own strength. Do not allow anyone else - especially small children - to play with your dog until you're sure your dog knows not to bite or jump on people.
Sassy believes play should be exciting and noisy.
She eagerly chases the tennis ball, brings it right back, places it at my feet and immediately starts barking for me to throw it again. I can't move quickly enough for her.
Zack has a more calm, focused approach. He will sit patiently and quietly, keeping his eye on the ball until I throw it. He is confident that I will eventually throw the ball and he is happy to wait.
He will retrieve the ball but doesn't always bring it right back, as he would prefer to be left alone to rip the ball apart. He isn't nearly into the retrieving part as Sas.
Buddy doesn't have much interest in chasing or retrieving. He gets his ball and runs around, showing it off, until he gets tired, at which point he hides under the bench, coveting his prize.
He has no desire to play with others, including me!
He's a "Ball Hog!"
They each seem to enjoy our playtime together, which is what matters most.
Please click on over to my friend, Deb's blog, Posted From Home , to see her beautiful tribute to her dog Ben. It has been 6 months since Ben left Deb's side, but he is still with her...