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training Let's Play - Tsawwassen Animal Hospital

training Let’s Play

Donated by Rob Scheel
Master Behaviour Therapist and Trainer for Bark Busters

Transform Your Wonderful Puppy Into a Fantastic Dog

Let’s Play-Teaching Play Is Very Important
Playing with humans is a learned behaviour. Teach your puppy how to play interactively with you.
Play is what will cement your relationship.

  • Play releases brain chemicals, dopamine and possibly serotonin according to studies of play. It brings joyfulness, releases tension and stress and engages body and mind.
  • Dogs that don’t have the opportunity to play with humans early in life may grow up with a play behaviour deficit.
  • This can interfere with a dog’s ability to connect with human members of their pack in a way that is important and meaningful. Play is extremely important to all species, bats, crows, elephants etc..
  • Dogs with play deficits can be dogs from puppy mills, pet shops, dogs kennel raised by a breeder with minimal play interaction with humans.
  • They may be even dogs who were purchased as pups by humans with good intentions, but who ended up in the backyard / garage or in the home of one or more play deprived humans who just didn’t understand the importance of
    frolicking with their dog
  • With play deprived dogs, it’s extremely important not to use verbal or physical corrections in your play training. In order to be willing to let his guard down to play, the dog needs to know he can trust you and feel safe to offer new
    behaviour and that’s exactly what play will be for a play challenged dog.
  • A dog that is already inhibited about play will be content to do nothing, and never engage in play, especially if he knows he could get corrected for trying and making the wrong move.

Here are some mistakes made by people trying to convince a RELUCTANT DOG TO PLAY:

  • Too much intensity and pressure turns the dog off the game.
  • Shoving a toy at the dog, pushing it into his face to try to get him to play with it.
  • Getting too excited when the dog is just starting to show interest in playing, and frightening the dog as a result.
  • Expecting the dog to play one particular game, such as “Fetch” without exploring other possibilities. Avoid Tug of War games and any rough play like pinning or physically restraining your puppy.
  • Giving up on the dog.
  • Relying on food only as the reinforcer to teach play.
  • Getting stuck with small play efforts, and not helping the dog build them into bigger games.
  • Not ending sessions soon enough – keep them short and sweet; always leave the dog wanting more!

Call: Rob Scheel For Any Additional Consultation
Direct: 604-220-0359    www.barkbusters.ca
Toll Free 1-866-418-4584    E-mail: rob@barkbusters.ca


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