Dogs Trust and Dog School!

by Katie Scott-Dyer // December 2017

Dogs Trust and Dog School!

Here at Dog School we love to play with puppies as it can promote a strong dog-owner relationship, as well as establishing some nice behaviours that can even be useful later in life. Plus, why not have fun while you’re learning!

We actively teach play as part of our classes, it’s a bridge between exercises for both pup and owner, and can help teach puppy some polite manners which is always useful, so play is pretty cool, right!

Play time need not be all about chasing a ball, or playing tuggy. Indeed, if we see a dog in class isn’t getting into it, we try other toys or games to see if this engages  them, and can be a useful gauge of anxiety levels – if a puppy is too worried to play in class we need to help him out!

Here are a few ideas for puppy playtime

Play time be cuddles if your puppy enjoys them and is relaxed enough, it can be a ball pit, it can be playing with flower pots or cones, and if the puppy is happy to fetch a treat from inside the cone, it can help with setting up a muzzle training plan should your dog ever need one or for wearing a ‘the cone of shame’ after an operation. Cool huh!

Play time can help with learning tricks or helpful tasks for the future. Like opening doors for their owner.

Playtime can even be a calm activity such as scentwork, and when your puppy gets really good at this game, they can find your keys for you when you lose them!

TOP TIP - keep it short and sweet and if playing tuggy with a puppy and they still have their baby teeth, let them put the weight behind the tug not you so you protect their permanent teeth.


Tag us in your photos of you playing with your dogs on Instagram: bristol_dogschool and Twitter: @BristlDogSchool we would love to see them!

Want to come to and learn how to play with your pup at one of our Bristol venues? Book in by dropping us an email to