Now that the warmer weather has returned, it’s a lot harder to resist your furry best friend’s pleas for some outdoor playtime. And why would you? It feels so good to be outside in the fresh air, and even better to watch how much they enjoy it. Of course, any time you spend together is quality time. But there is something extra special about the bonding that takes place during game playing with your dog.
What are some of their favorites? While Tug-of-War always seems to top the list, there has been some controversy over it. Some trainers feel that engaging in a game of Tug-of-War with your dog may provoke issues of aggression and dominance. Still, researchers have discovered that dogs who engage in physical, “rough and tumble” types of play with their owners are more confident, more amenable, and have less difficulty with separation anxiety. That’s good new for Tug-of-War lovers!
Benefits of Game Playing with Your Dog
Generally speaking, any “rough and tumble” play activity with your dog will strengthen your bond; not to mention the other great benefits of keeping them healthy and happy. And it fights the kind of boredom that tends to cause them to get into mischief around the house! Another wonderful advantage to game playing with your dog is that many games can actually help train your dog to build obedience and other positive behavioral skills, such as Fetch, Hide and Seek, Simon Says, and the Clean Up Your Toys game.
What to Watch For
Just like us, dogs love to learn when they’re having fun! Incorporating healthy treats in moderation is a helpful incentive. Naturally, it is important to be alert for any shifts in your pet’s play behavior. Discontinue the game if your dog becomes agitated or too rough. Be sure to praise your furry friend when they comply with your command to end the game. Be aware that unusually aggressive or agitated behavior during game play can be an indication of injury or illness. Remember, engaging in a habit of regular game playing with your dog is a wonderful way to show your faithful friend how much you love them. Just look at those eyes! Who could resist that?
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