4 Mistakes You May Be Making When Playing with Your Dog
February 21 2023
Playtime is an important activity for both you and your dog. It helps develop the bond between the two of you and is a great way for you and your pet to stay active, healthy, and happy.
However, if you’re not careful, the way you conduct your pet’s playtime might actually be harmful rather than helpful for your fur baby. Indeed, you may be unknowingly practicing certain techniques and using certain toys that negatively affect your pup’s training and health. The good news is that it’s never too late to find out what you may be doing wrong and what you can do better.
To ensure happy and safe playtime sessions with your dog, it’s a good idea to invest in durable, high-quality pet products, whether you prefer to secure your pup with martingale collars, hands-free leashes and standard collars, or leashes and dog harnesses. Of course, you’ll have to do more than just buy these basic dog items. You should also make an effort to avoid doing any of the most common mistakes below:
Not Having the Right Toys
When picking out toys for your pup, it’s important to note that different kinds of toys suit different kinds of dogs.
For example, you wouldn’t want to get toys that are too small or toys that are made of many detachable parts. After all, you don’t want your dog to accidentally swallow a small ball or a tiny part of a toy. You’ll also need to take your pup’s personality into account. Soft, squeaky toys are perfect for gentler dogs. On the other hand, hard rubber toys may last longer with high-energy dogs.
Overall, it’s about finding the right fit for your pet’s preferred play style. You and your pup will likely go through a lot of trial and error to find the toys your pet likes most. Don’t let that discourage you, though. Instead, think of it as a process of discovery that you get to enjoy with your furred family member.
Using the Same Toys All the Time
If you were to eat your favorite food every day, you would most likely feel tired of it after a while. The same goes for your dog’s toys. If your pup only gets to play with the same toys every day, they’re bound to lose interest in them after some time.
What you may not know is that this boredom can lead to trouble. If they’re understimulated, your dog might start chewing on your rugs or biting other things to keep themselves occupied.
Thus, it’s crucial to acquire an assortment of toys for your dog. To help keep your pup interested in the toys you already have, you can implement a rotation schedule for them. First, divide the toys into three groups. Then, switch out one group of toys for another whenever you see your dog getting tired of the current set they’re playing with. That way, the toys they play with will feel new after each switch.
Forgetting About Training While Playing
Another common mistake that many pet owners make is overlooking training during their dogs’ playtime sessions. Training is essential to teaching your pup how they should behave both when at home and when away from home, and these lessons must be continuously reinforced to ensure that your dog successfully learns the desired behaviors.
If your dog practices any undesirable behavior, such as nipping or scratching, you must address these behaviors immediately. Make sure to follow basic dog training rules, and focus on positive reinforcement. If your pup listens to your commands and behaves properly, make sure to reward them with their favorite treat or toy.
Unknowingly Encouraging Aggressive Behavior
Sometimes, while playing with your pup, you may become so focused on interacting with them that you don’t realize you’re encouraging them to develop some bad habits.
For example, tugging too hard on a toy while playing tug-of-war with your dog has been known to encourage aggressive behavior. The same goes for playing rough with your pup. When you do these things, you may unwittingly make your dog act hostile toward other people and animals. This, in turn, can potentially lead to problems for you and your pet later on. They may, for instance, end up biting another person or pet out of aggression.
To prevent them from developing aggressive behavior, make sure to research and carry out safe playtime training tips. Take note that the best play and training style may differ from dog to dog. Don’t be afraid to consult a professional dog trainer if you aren’t sure what approach would work best for your pup.
Playtime is a wonderful time for pets and owners. However, like any other activity, playtime has to be done properly so that all parties involved remain happy and safe. So, make sure to keep the tips above in mind the next time you spend some quality time with your pup.