Playing with your puppy regularly is fun and stimulates the young dog both mentally and physically. By playing with you, the dog learns that he can do great things with you, which strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. Since puppies are not yet able to properly assess their power reserves, it is important to consider a few aspects when playing with the puppy.
Why playing with your puppy is so important
Anyone who lives with a puppy knows that the little one wants to play all day long. This is a good thing, because the dog uses itself physically and mentally in play, increases its abilities, and learns social skills. In addition, playing together promotes the bond between you and your dog.
The puppy realizes that you and he are a real team who can have a lot of fun together. For example, puppy games teach the dog to stalk, grab prey, or sniff out tracks. At the same time, he also experiences limits in the game.
Puppy games – but not without rules, please
Since your dog loves to play with you, he will likely prompt you to do so a lot at first. If you follow this request at any time, the dog learns that it only has to ask for something from you – and that it usually gets it immediately. You should avoid this at all costs, otherwise, you will later have an adult dog that is constantly making demands on you. As cute as the little pup may be asking you to play, remember that you decide when and for how long to play.
Game rules for puppy games
- To encourage the dog’s bite inhibition, you should always signal him with a loud “ouch” if he bites too hard and stops the game immediately. Over time, your dog will know how hard to pinch you during play.
- One command you should teach your dog early on is “Off.” If your little one doesn’t want to give up a toy, clearly say “off” – and put a treat in front of their nose at the same time. Usually, the dog then lets go of the toy and quickly learns that the command is worth following. For some puppies, however, these and other exercises require a lot of patience—particularly if the dog prefers possessing to eating.
- And the general rule is: don’t play with your dog for too long at a time and don’t overwhelm him, as he’s not yet able to assess his strength very well. A tired dog will not be encouraged to play as well next time. So you better play with him several times a day long enough for him to be exhausted but still want to keep playing.
Puppy games for indoors – activity in any weather
There are many toys and games for playing with your young dog indoors. When choosing toys, it is important to make sure that they are suitable for dogs. Special puppy toys are also available. It is advisable to keep the puppy’s toys in a fixed place that is inaccessible to the dog and not to leave them lying around all over the house. If the pup only has one or two toys at his disposal, he will always be happy when you pull a new “old” toy out of his toy box. A dedicated place for the toy also makes it clear to the dog what it can and cannot play with.
The type of play depends on your dog’s personal preferences and may have certain breed-specific skills in your dog that you should encourage. Search and brain games are good indoor puppy games. For example, distribute different treats or a portion of dry food in the apartment and let your dog look for it. Other games you can try with your pup are tug and fight games. Intelligence toy promotes and challenges young dogs mentally.