Do dogs need to play?

 Do dogs need to play?

It has been said in the human world that "all work and no play makes Jack a boring boy." Well, it's pretty much the same in the dog world too. It is important that a dog can play with other dogs, not only for fun and exercise but to develop and maintain socialization skills.
Do dogs need to play?

Play sessions with other dogs are important because if the dog does not associate with other dogs of its species, it will soon “desocialize” and lose its ability to interact with other dogs.
Dogs in many ways are a lot like people, they have their preferences as to who they want to play with. Even the most socialized dog won't want to play with every dog they come across. 

Some dogs prefer to play with dogs of a similar color, who have gentle play styles, some prefer to play with males rather than females, and some prefer to play with young dogs, while others prefer larger dogs. aged. Some dogs like to play with a large group and some prefer to play individually. 

It is important that you are aware of your dog's play styles and that you learn this by watching your dog like a puppy play with other dogs. 

What are the playing styles of dogs? 

Well, some dogs like to play like cats (pounce - use their paws, turn around the other dog without touching each other); others like to hunt (with playful stalking and taking turns chasing each other). gentle bite of the neck, also on the face and ears.) 

Different breeds have different play styles. Toy breeds seem to prefer the cat-and-mouse type of play, sight dogs love good chasing play, and working dogs like Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards love to chase and body slam. While other working dogs like Boxers, Great Danes, Samoyeds, Mastiffs, and Huskies love to bite their necks during playtime. 

How do you know which dog will be a good companion for your dog? 

Size matters, dogs should be of similar size, and neither dog should weigh more than twice the other's weight. 

You need to do the introductions gradually. Dogs must meet on neutral ground (either through a fence or by walking each dog on a leash). 

If your dog has never been to a dog park, it is a good idea to leave him off-leash in the holding area until the dogs in the play area have greeted him through the fence and have returned to play. This removes the stress that your dog would feel so suddenly a large group of dogs was standing on top of him/her and your dog had no place to escape. 

Once your dog joins the group in the play area, keep a close eye on the group. Dogs are like children and sometimes playing in a large group ends up getting angry, upset, or hurt. They need constant supervision.

As an owner visiting the dog park with your pet, it is wise to keep moving, it allows the dogs to move and they are less likely to fight. It's also a great idea if your dog and another are playing hard, give them a ten-second break every few minutes. This reduces excitement and prevents accidents, as both dogs and children get too excited. 

If you notice any sign of stress in your dog or in the dogs involved in the game, stop the game. Signs of stress may be half-moon eyes, lip licking, fallen tails, yawning, and ears. pulled back or stiff body language. 

It's times like this that you have to listen to your gut feelings and not what others might say. Any sign that doesn't suit you is definitely a sign to get your dog out and go. In doing so, you could save yourself and your dog from a bad situation. 

Things to keep in mind: 

If you have a small dog, you must find a dog park with a separate area for small dogs only. Medium and large-sized dogs need a lot of space to run and play, if your park is not that big try to go outside of opening hours if possible.

As more groups are forming for dog play dates, you can find a group in your area by going to or by doing a Google search in your area.

One of the best things you can do is set play dates for your dog in your yard with your friends 'and neighbors' dogs. Just be sure to watch and keep things calm. 

If you have a puppy make sure he has all his shots before taking him to a dog park and when you are there be extra vigilant as a bad experience for your impressionable puppy could create a lifelong problem. with other dogs.

Playgroups, dog parks, and backyard adventures with friends are a great way for a puppy/dog to let off steam, get exercise, and learn social dog manners. It is up to you, however, to recognize your dog's method of play and keep that in mind when introducing him to other dogs. It is also your responsibility to know when your dog has had enough and needs to stop playing and come home.

It's about having fun and, like with kids, you need to know when “enough is enough” when it comes to dog play.

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