We all love the cute little antics of our puppies - their high energy level, their constant love of playtime and their undying love for romping and running with you and your family. Play time is a great way to create a bond between you and your new puppy. It can also be a way to get in some much needed training, without your puppy even knowing!
Because puppies have such a high energy level, creating a game that releases that energy is great for you and for him! Try making an obstacle course for your pup to run through, around and under. And it doesn't have to be expensive. Get a few old, large cardboard boxes and cut off the top and bottom flaps so that it is open on both sides, making it easy for your pup to run right through. Set up a few cones or other objects that your puppy can weave in and out. Anything you can find around the house that is safe and will make a great obstacle for your dog.
Have your pup sit a few feet from the first obstacle, show him the treat and put it on the other side of the cardboard box. When your pup runs through the box, give him the treat on the other side and reward him with lots of praise.
With the cones, lead your pup around each cone, treat in hand and in sight. When he completes the obstacle, give him the treat and lots of praise. Pretty soon, he will be running through on his own at lightning speed!
Tug-of-war is also a favorite game among all dog owners. You should never let your dog win the match though. Letting him win makes him think he is the alpha dog or pack leader. Tug-of-war gives you the opportunity to teach your puppy "drop it" or "give". This is perfect for when he has a shoe, remote or any other item he shouldn't be playing with. Teaching these commands will create a well-balanced and behaved adult in the future.
Fetch is a game that never gets old for your pup. Throw his favorite toy and tell him "come" when he retrieves it. This is a great way to practice the command and to burn off that extra energy for your puppy.
There are tons of games and exercises that can be helpful to you and your puppy. Playing is not just a way to have fun but creates that friendship that each owner should have with their dog. The next time you're wondering how to entertain your puppy, just use your imagination and have fun - your pup will be sure to join in!
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