When taking your dog to the park, you also need to be mindful of how he interacts with other dogs. However, if you’ve just had a pet, you may tend to confuse playfulness and aggression. Through the following Hamilton dog training tips, you will have a better understanding of dog play, and how to teach your pet to act appropriately in these situations.
Defining Dog Play
Play is defined as “dogs re-enacting real life situations.” This is how they communicate with one another. In addition, this is how they become aware of how their behavior affects fellow dogs. Different play styles happen in different dog breeds. The play styles are adapted from their mother and littermates. For instance, herding breeds bite at the heels of playmates, while bully breeds are more physical.
Here are the signs your dog is good to play:
- Front legs are outstretched and the hind quarter is up
- High pitched growling
- Loose and relaxed bodies
- Mouth is open when biting
- More side-to-side than forward movement
In addition, below are indicators your dog is getting along with another dog:
- He is approaching another dog in an arc
- He is avoiding eye contact
- He is sniffing another dog
- He is moving calmly and slowly
Dealing with Bullies
Your dog will also likely encounter fellow dogs that are bullies that will give him a hard time. Here’s what you can do in such situations:
- Watch your dog closely, and intervene immediately if the other dog is being a bully.
- Make your dog play rough with others long as they are having a good time.
- Inform your fellow dog owners about appropriate dog play and interventions when a dog bullies other dogs.
How to Make the Dog Play Nice
- Establish obedience.
You need to have confidence with your dog prior to him getting training. Gauge if he will still be attentive to you when he is being very physical. If he continues with the behavior, go away from the park and start reinforcing obedience. There’ll be an easier time going toward appropriate play when you can communicate well.
- Stop bad behavior before it begins.
You have to observe closely what is happening. To do that, you need to be an expert in body language. Examples of signs include:
- Stiff body movement
- Low growling
In time, you will learn your dog’s normal behavior, keeping them in check while they get too intense.
- Don’t tolerate bad behavior.
Don’t allow your dog to think bad behavior is all good. If you know that he is always excited in a large group, don’t take him to parks at peak times. Notice also if there are dogs that bring out that behavior in them.
- Instruct a “Settle” Cue.
Teach your dog to recognize “Settle” command. If he’s barking endlessly because he wants to eat, or screaming at another dog, just say “Settle” to calm him down. To make sure that it is effective, teach the word in a non-distracting setting.
Mention settle and give out a treat to bring the dog where you wish him to be. If he constantly follows you, wait before giving out the reward; if he’s not calm, start over. Afterward, start taking him into the yard where he could see other dogs. Your aim here is to get your dog to listen no matter what.
Dog Play Made Better
Dog play doesn’t have to be confusing; in fact, it’ll teach you on how to be a better owner. Now that you’ve been briefed on dog play, you’ll be able to gauge your pet’s attitude, teach them to behave accordingly around other pets, and have worry-free trips to the park with them. If you want to learn even more secrets on maximizing your pet’s playtime and enforcing appropriate behavior, visiting a Leesburg dog training center is worth your investment.