There are lots of ways to bond with your pet, but taking time to play with him every day is sure to earn you first place in his heart.
Playing with Your Dog
Have you ever sat and watched a group of dogs or puppies when they’re together? I have, and one of the earliest observable behaviors of puppies (aside from nursing and sleeping) is play. Puppies will play with their litter mates until they literally wear themselves out and fall asleep, only to wake up and do it all over again.
Yes, your dog will spend a terrific amount of time chewing and exploring his territory, but playing with you will be a favorite activity, more often than not. He craves the opportunity to play with you now that he doesn’t have the constant interaction with his litter mates.
Benefits for Your Dog
Like any other living creature, your dog needs daily exercise to stay healthy and fit.
Keeping your dog physically active will benefit his heart health, keep his joints well-lubricated, and improve his balance and coordination.
It will also keep his mind alert and focused as he learns to play by the rules of your games.
As the owner of a boarding facility, I can attest to dogs’ love of playtime. Most often, the number one priority dogs have when let out into our dog yard is not finding a place to potty, but rather dropping their toy at my feet to play.
By far, the number one game that dogs want to play with me is fetch. I’ve had more than one owner advise me when dropping off their older dog that I need to limit their dog’s time for the game lest they wear themselves out!
Funny, but true. I will often wear out before they do.
Chase and Retrieve
Playing fetch is likely your dog’s favorite game to play with you, and for good reason.
If we follow dogs’ genetics back to their ancestors, wolves were pack animals who hunted prey to return to their pack-family for food. Thus, the natural retrieving instinct in dogs. Later, of course, dog owners tapped into that instinct to train their dogs to go on hunts and help retrieve food for their own families.
Of course, some breeds have been bred to take advantage of this retrieving instinct even to this day.
Regardless of breed, chasing and retrieving are likely two of your dog’s greatest skills, making fetch the perfect game for him to strut his stuff. It’s intrinsically rewarding for your dog.
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Almost any soft household item can be used to play fetch, even a pair of bundled socks. But if you want to spare your socks the wear and tear, a little fetching gear never hurts.
Tennis balls are the perfect size and weight for fetch. Plus, most dogs love to chew on their toys, and unless you have a mighty chewer on your hands, tennis balls serve the double purpose for both chewing and fetching.
Just make sure your dog does not eat the ball!
Even better, make a small investment and get yourself Chuckit! for dogs. For just under $9 on Amazon.com, you will get both the launcher and a ball to play with. Plus, Chuckit! will hold any normal sized tennis ball you have on hand.
You’ll love Chuckit! It will launch the ball farther and faster than you can throw by hand, and it will save your arm, especially for those of you with dogs who could literally play fetch all day.
For a bit more money, you can get an assortment of Chuckit! balls from glow-in-the-dark, to tough rubberized balls (for super chewers), or super-bouncy balls.
Chuckit! sells over 10 different ball varieties that fit their ball launcher so you can mix things up. They even sell frisbees, fliers, tugs and water toys.
Go Fetch, Boy!
What’s your dog’s favorite toy for a game of fetch? Does he have another favorite game? Be sure to share with us below in the comments!