Teach your puppy to playPuppies need to learn a few things about proper play.
A dog’s individual personality is often reflected in the type of play he prefers. These preferences can be breed-specific (Labradors and Golden Retrievers, for example, are bred to fetch), but often it comes down to the individual dog. While your puppy may express an early preference for certain types of play, his socialization period is the ideal time to teach him to play a variety of games.
Bing: Puppies playing
Play is essential for a dog’s mental and physical well-being, and is an important way for him to communicate with other animals and people. Play is also useful as a reward for wanted behavior. Playing a variety of different games with your puppy encourages his development.
Games dogs love to play
Dogs enjoy games that channel their natural urges. Playing these games with your dog allows him to burn off extra energy and can help prevent behavior issues associated with boredom.
Tug: Almost all dogs enjoy a good game of tug, although intensity level may vary widely. To eliminate the dangerous and destructive aspects of tug, play this game only with a designated toy. This will help avoid incidents with tugging on inappropriate items like clothing or children’s toys. Ropes with knots on each end are appropriate tug toys because they are different from other items commonly seen by dogs and are easily grasped during play.
Fetch: Most dogs will follow a thrown toy, but it’s a challenge for many dogs to carry it all the way back to an owner. While this behavior is innate in some breeds, almost any dog, including an older dog, can be taught to play fetch. Many dogs prefer to fetch only specific items (tennis balls, for example), but introducing fetch to puppies with a variety of items, including stuffed or rubber toys and Frisbees, opens up a world of spontaneous games. But avoid sticks, as sharp edges can injure the inside of your dog's mouth, and pieces can break off and serve as choking hazards, or lead to digestive tract obstructions.
Chase: The desire to follow and chase moving objects is inborn in many dogs. Beyond running after the ball in a game of fetch, there are other ways to satisfy chase play. My favorite dog toy is called a Chase-It. The toy looks like a fishing pole with a stuffed animal on the end. The toy can be moved around quickly, naturally inciting the dog’s desire to chase. Even the least toy-driven dogs have been gaga over this toy. The Longshot toy, Chuckit! ball launcher and other long-distance throwing toys are other ways to encourage chase play in a dog.
Play with a purpose
Some forms of doggie play may not look like play, but they still satisfy important urges for your pooch. The right toys are key to these types of play.
Puzzles: Canine Einsteins enjoy games that employ brain rather than brawn. Food puzzles are designed to simultaneously challenge your dog’s problem-solving skills and encourage physical movement to get the food out of the container. This is a great way to combine meal time and playtime.
Chewers: Teething puppies and adult dogs who enjoy chewing prefer toys that feel good on their teeth and occupy time to counteract boredom. “De-stuffer” dogs, who pull squeakers or stuffing out of toys, enjoy toys that can be destroyed, employing their natural instinct to dissect their prey. When choosing chew toys, be sure to choose substantial toys that cannot be torn to bits (such as those made of hard rubber), and remove stuffed toys and any small pieces before your dog ingests them. Avoid toys with buttons and other decorative pieces that can be inadvertently swallowed.
pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers
The strong bonds that dogs can form are undeniable.
Think you know your pet’s every unspoken wish? Think again. Your pet is unlikely to be capable of communicating her wants and needs in ways you might assume she would. Even those of you most in touch with your pets' feelings are likely missing a few cues here and there.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever made both our readers' and veterinary professionals' lists of breeds that love the water.
You might proudly call yourself a dog owner, pet parent or canine guardian, but let’s be real: Your dog owns you. You might be laughing now, but think about it — you've surrendered the best seat on the sofa to him, you plan your entire weekend around his trips to the dog park, and you take him to the groomer more often than you get your own hair cut. And let's not forget who's in every photo on your Facebook and Instagram feeds. Sound familiar? We thought so. But in case you still think you're in charge, here are seven classic signs that your dog is the one calling the shots.
One of the best things about being a veterinarian is all the different dogs I get to meet. Of course, I love the Labs and Beagles and Boxers and Poodles, not to mention those crazy Canine Cocktails, or what my parents used to call Heinz 57s. They are among the more popular dogs out there, and I see a lot of them. In fact, it used to be that it was rare to see anything else. Here are nine dog breeds I sometimes see now that I didn’t see in the past.
We asked veterinary experts and readers which breeds they think and if it is OK to shave longhaired pets in the summer.
If you're searching for a breed that may enjoy the company of a kid, we have some great suggestions for you.
When searching for the right dog to add to your family, your first instinct might be to bring home a tiny little thing that your kids can cradle in their laps. But we're here to remind you that the best fit for you may be a large dog breed.
Many breeds were developed to do work that required them to act independently. Those dogs tend to be smart, but as family pets, they may need more leadership and training than others. Ultimately, though, they’re worth it. Here are 11 dog breeds that tend to have independent personalities.
Many of us here at Vetstreet are fascinated by pets who have unique coats and cool shapes hidden in their markings. So we asked our Facebook fans to share pictures of animals that have interesting coloration, and you did not disappoint. From mustachioed cats to a horse of a different color, here are our 13 favorite photos of pets with cool coats.
We surveyed 284 veterinary professionals (including vets, veterinary technicians and office staff) to see which breeds they felt were most likely to chew something they shouldn't and wind up in the veterinary emergency room, and we've listed the top five answers below. Do you agree with their opinions? Which breeds would you add to the list?
This Fourth of July, Americans will celebrate with the sights and sounds of fireworks. While we love the pyrotechnics, it's important to remember that our patriotic midsummer spectacular is no holiday for many of our pets.