Playing with your dog is a lot of fun and it is good for both of you. Of course, you do want to keep your play safe. This will require you to keep a number of things in mind.
Safe for the dog
When playing with your dog, mind its safety. Here is what to pay attention to.
• Are the toys safe? Make sure you use toys that do not have any sharp edges or points, no poisonous substances (dye) or loose parts. These may be dangerous to your dog.
• Is the environment safe? When playing with your dog in your garden, make sure the garden is safe. Clear the garden of any dangerous items lying around and make sure the area is properly closed off.
• Do not overstrain your pup. Pups grow fast and can get injured when overstrained. Excessive running and sprinting can inhibit the growth process. Keep this in mind when playing with your dog and make sure it gets enough breaks in between the exercise.
Safe for you
You need to make sure that not only your dog is safe during play, but you as well. Safe play with a pup involves implementing a number of rules.
• You are the boss. You set the rules, you decide when play begins and when it ends.
• Do not let the dog win too often. It’s OK for your dog to win every now and then, but when it wins too often, it may be undermining your dominant position and you may lose control.
• Some dogs can show signs of aggression during play. Keep a close eye on this and try to prevent it from happening, for example by stopping if the dog becomes too excited.
Dogs and children
If you have children, they will love playing with the dog and vice versa. Never allow young children to play with the dog on their own. The dog considers itself higher up the pecking order and will not allow the small child to take charge. This may cause problems. Do not allow your child to wrestle with the dog and prevent your child from sitting or lying on your dog. When your dog is near children, keep an eye out at all times.