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.
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).