During each of our two monthly Orientations we have a section that reads “How To Appropriately Play With Your Dog.” We show two videos, the first is a boy out of control with a little chihuahua and the second is a video of our Kids Camp demonstrating integrating training and play. The first video is typically the part that makes dogs bark and owners cringe; as a matter of fact, Jeff cringes each time he sees the first video. After showing the fist Jeff always asks, “Who has this going on in their homes?” and it’s startling how many people raise their hands.
DON’T STOP READING!
This is a short refresher course. Please watch the following two videos and do a self-evaluation of our home and see if you need to make any changes.
How to INappropriately play with your dog
How to appropriately play with your dog
When playing with your dog it is not a good idea to promote wildness. As seen in the first video when you continue to ramp up the dog’s intensity and allow things to get out of hand the situation can quickly become disastrous. If you pay attention at the end of the first video the boy ends up getting bit by his own dog. The bite is likely not hard enough to break skin but with continued practice of out of control play this type of situation could result in a more serious bite in time.
Contrasting the first video with the second we see the results of integrating training into playtime yield happy, energetic dogs that can play and have fun but have learned to settle quickly and sit. These dogs are much less of a risk to bite for any reason than the dog that has been taught to be wild. In the second video, if you listen closely, you’ll hear Jeff say, “Ok, turn ’em off…” These dogs are beginning to have an “off switch” that can take them from arousal to calm very quickly. This will not only help to control wild play, but any situation where the dog needs to calm down in a hurry.
Dogs are happiest when they have a job, and one of the jobs they can perform for all of us is to be enjoyable, well-behaved members of the family. As Spring and Summer arrive and we are venturing outside for activity, remember to integrate training into playtime. Your dogs will thank you for it.
**Side note: Notice the difference in the children in the two videos. When you involve your children in wild play they will become wild also but if you teach your children to help train the family dog by incorporating a few sits and downs into their playtime you’ll see that they will respond eagerly and will learn self-control themselves in the process.
And speaking of children, don’t miss your opportunity to register your kids for Kids Camp this summer. We have two sets of dates available: July 11th, 12th and 13th and July 25th, 26th and 27th. Spaces are limited and will fill up fast. Click the banner below to register now!