Day 31: Social Play

Play is important for dogs. However, not all dogs are instinctively good players, and not all dogs are good play matches. If possible, try to find good play matches for your dog(s). Puppies and teen dogs may benefit from socialization classes to build or improve their social skills, and even some adult dogs may do well in social play classes. Negative interactions with dogs can be harmful to social skills, especially for young dogs and teen/young adult dogs in sensitive socialization periods. Look for positive interactions, and don't be afraid to step in—calmly—if you feel a situation is getting out of hand. Thanks for joining me for 31 days of dog training! Keep training!...
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Doggy Play

Growing up in a house with one dog (and, for a long time, one dog who didn't like other dogs), I never really appreciated the nuance of dog play. Sure, watch dogs run around a field together and it looks like they're having fun, but I never looked beyond that level. Once I began working in shelters and had more opportunities to watch dogs play, I started to more fully appreciate the elements that go into dog play. That appreciated has only been more fully developed as I have moved into teaching - especially teaching puppy classes, which provide more opportunities for free play than most adult dog classes, as well as the unparalleled opportunity to watch dogs learn to play from week to week and develop their communication skills.* This first video shows two puppies - chocolate lab Molly, 12 weeks, and pekingnese/cairn terrier Spartacus, 7 months - who have just met and are playing for the first time....
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