Having a new puppy is quite an experience; they get into everything, and they love to play. Encouraging active play early on will help your puppy build crucial behavioral skills and it’s great for bonding. Check out some fun ways to get your puppy engaged and active:
1. Walking and Wagging – There’s nothing better than a casual stroll around town, for your puppy everything is new and undiscovered so let them explore and take the time to sniff it out. This is a great time to start working on commands like sit and stay, not to mention socialization skills as a puppy is likely to attract a lot of attention and smiles. Avoid running until the puppy is older and his or her joints are more mature and keep walks to five minutes per month of age (10-minute walk for a two-month-old puppy).
2. Hide-and-Seek - Have a friend hold your puppy while you go hide. Call out and let them hunt you down and watch that tail wag when they do. Your new best friend is learning fast. As an added bonus use the word “come” to use the game to double as a teaching tool. You can even hide toys or treats and help puppy hunt them down as well.
3. Fetch! – Who doesn’t love catch? Use soft toys, not sticks, as they can hurt a young pups mouth. You may have to show them how it’s done, but they’ll pick it up in no time and then you can both get a workout. You can also count on the added benefit of an abdominal workout due to all the laughs you’re bound to share. Keep in mind, puppies can wear out quick. Take a break for every ten minutes of play.
4. Doggie Paddle – A puppy’s developing joints are sensitive and a low impact water game will keep puppy from getting hurt. Don’t fret if your puppy doesn’t like the water, it takes time to acquire a taste for new things and forcing the issue could result in anxiety. Also, use a pet-appropriate life jacket to keep your pooch safe and be sure to swim in calm waters.
5. Tiny Tricksters – Dogs learn best when they are taught early and often. Play time can also be a time to learn new tricks and commands. It can be a mental and physical workout for your puppy so limit sessions to 10 minutes at a time. Commands like sit and stay will help keep your puppy safe and protected when mastered and tricks like roll over can increase discipline. So grab some treats and get started.
There’s no time like the present to get your puppy active and increase bonding in the process. It’s time for some serious puppy therapy. Have fun!
Selected by Laura Drucker, TAILS Editor