BULLIES come in all ages

BULLIES come in all ages
(click to see movie trailer)

Surround yourself with positive people,
energy, and situations;
always avoid negativity.


Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So, love the people who treat you right.

Forgive, and then forget about the ones who don't.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Importance of Play

Spending time playing with your dog, is as important as time spent on obedience or other training. Play is a great opportunity to develop your social relationship with your dog. Playing games is a fundamental way of "modeling" real life. You can teach a dog to obey by playing games that make following your instructions fun. I know for a fact that children learn faster and easier when you make it fun!!!
Here are a few tips to help make your playtime more successful and enjoyable:

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.
More good info on playing with your dog here.

Although I have 3 Labs, they each have their own play style.

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...

Happy Trails,


Honey said...

Aw! Fun times with the ball!! I like to pick it up, then flop down and rip the fur off.....then go look for a stick, and chew that up too!
Good fun it is.
Cheers, Honey

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading about your dogs' play styles! I did think Zack looks serious! Sassy exhibits her usual exuberance and "take charge" attitude so evident in her quotes! Maybe Buddy is reacting to his time in the shelter...you have to hold on to what you have and look out for yourself! Thanks for sharing the info about Cotton...it was heartwarming! I cannot imagine what it must have been like out there.

Shellmo said...

I love your dogs! It's funny how they each have their own style! I am counting down the days until I have my own dog to play with....

Anonymous said...

I cried when I read "Posted from Home." That other anonymous was me. SH

Elizabeth Bergesen said...

Good advise on dog play! Fun pictures too!

Deb said...

Thank you for stopping by yesterday and leaving your kind comment!! And for posting a link here today xo
I love reading all about Sassy, Zack and Buddy. Ben's play style was like Zack. He loved chasing the ball at the park in his younger years & could hold 3 in his mouth :-)I guess he was a bit of a "ball hog" too :-) Please give Sassy, Zack and Buddy a big hug and kiss from me!!

Anonymous said...

When we got our dog from the shelter, she learned so many things in only a few days.
I think she was happy to have a home and to be able to roam on the farm.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoy the videos, Kit. Just like children, each dog has it's own personality. Alike, yet so different.