Teaching your dog to play with toys.

Your best 4-legged friend and loyal companion can become a good playmate if you teach him on a regular basis. Of course the first thing your dog should know is that he must always obey you, start from basic commands, play a game of fetch, dogs love it. Dogs also like catching a Frisbee. The most effective method for shaping your dog's behavior is to show how you respect him and always react positively when he performs command the way you want him to. If you are not excited (and you are definitely not) about the idea of having passive and super lazy dog, then we recommend you to offer your dog various toys and your full attention during one-on-one play time.

  • Introduce your dog to a certain toy that will surely drag his attention, shake it near him and throw it just out of his reach. Always accompany your actions with words, thus your dog will be able to comprehend what you want him to perform.
  • We recommend to associate a command with the activity like "play", "games" or "toys." Use the command each time a new toy is introduced, your dog will be excited to play with you.
  • Always encourage your dog and reward him immediately once he plays with the toy the way you want him to. You can use food treats, your dog will be very grateful. If your dog tugs a rope when you offer it or fetches a ball when you toss it, immediately treat him a piece of food he likes the most, positive reinforcement such as "good dog" will also do.
  • If you want good concentration and interest during a playtime you should show positive excitement. If playtime is really fun your dog will be engaged. Your task is to be active as possible to involve your dog into a game.
  • Try to avoid negative attitude. Yelling "bad dog" or using force to make him tug or fetch a toy can worsen the situation. Try to introduce new toy or if your dog doesn't show any interest at all postpone it for better times.
  • Never stop believing and loving your dog if something goes wrong. You can always take a break and give some time for your pet. If you are halfway to succeed you can gradually set higher expectations towards your pet. You can reward your dog only when you start teaching your dog, eventually he should perform all tasks without any reward.
  • Playing should be done regularly. The best places for it are: backyards, parks, etc. Remember that playtime is a special time for only two of you. Your dog masters his skills and you enjoy time spending with him, also dog owners live longer and they are healthier than those people who don't have dogs. It is easily explained by the fact that dog owners always stay active because dog ownership requires them to.
  • Try playing hide and seek with your dog. Hide any toy behind your back or somewhere nearby. Tell your dog to search. Reward your dog when he finds the toy.
  • Use only one- or two-word command for better understanding between you and your pet.