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How Not to Play with a Puppy

How Not to Play with a Puppy

It may be cute when a little puppy play-bites your hand, sleeve, or pant leg, or chews on your shoelaces, but before you know it, the dog grows up and, meaning no harm, sinks its teeth into someoneís hand, or rips a sofa pillow.

Here are six good rules of puppy play to keep your dog safe and to make sure you donít encourage behavior that will spell trouble later on.

Donít play just before or after feeding.

Donít play on a slippery surface, such as wood, vinyl, or tile. The puppy needs secure footing, or it can tear a muscle or dislocate a joint.

Donít do anything to provoke aggression, even in play.

Donít play tug-of-war with a puppy. It can cause damage to the puppyís jaw.

Donít encourage or permit a puppy to bite anything but its own toys.

Donít play with a puppy for more than a few minutes at a time, because it will become over stimulated and exhausted–or aggressive. Extended romping is especially harmful to a large-breed pup, whose bones are not
yet strong enough to support its weight in hard play.

Read more: Pets, Everyday Pet Care, Safety

Adapted from City Dog, by Patricia Curtis (Lantern Books, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by Patricia Curtis. Reprinted by permission of Lantern Books.
Adapted from City Dog, by Patricia Curtis (Lantern Books, 2002).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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City Dog

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+ add your own
3:40AM PDT on Jul 29, 2013

thanks again

1:53PM PDT on Jul 10, 2013

Thank you for the good information.

12:42PM PDT on Jul 10, 2013

ciekawe informacje dla posiadających szczeniaka

2:13PM PDT on May 5, 2013


8:25AM PST on Feb 26, 2013

i'm surprised at how many people don't know how much exercise is enough for their pup, especially if it is a big breed. i'm always shocked to see people taking their little 'uns to be big 'uns for long walks. yes the dog may be enjoying it, but you could both be regretting it later

7:34PM PST on Feb 24, 2013

I really appreciate all those information. I'm sharing with friends. Thank you!!

10:46AM PST on Feb 24, 2013

Great article with really good information. All play with baby animals should be supervised by adults. And, by adults, I mean adult people with some common sense!

10:18AM PST on Feb 23, 2013


9:26AM PST on Feb 6, 2013


10:20AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

Oh, Annie gave us a lot of don't but neglected to give us some how to's. For example, one of my little dogs likes to give me 'love bites' when I'm playing with him and I find it cute because it doesn't hurt. I'm no expert in this but if a dog playfully bites hard enough to hurt than I would immediately say STOP! Don't do that. But some people might react by striking the dog...which I would not ever suggest for anyone to do. I would simply say, don't do anything to your pet when you discipline it that you wouldn't want done to you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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