Doggy Play for puppies!

by Fiona Sinclair // April 2018

Doggy Play for puppies!

Puppies spend a lot of their time playing, and play-biting is a really important part of their play. When a puppy bites too hard, their playmate will stop playing. This helps the pup learn how to control their bite. To humans, dog play can look quite ferocious because we often see teeth flashing, but well-socialised dogs will mouth when they play, instead of biting, and no one gets hurt. Once you get used to the rough and tumble, it’s great fun to watch dogs play!

When observing a young puppy playing with an older dog; the game might go on for some 20 minutes with both dogs repeatedly coming back for more, this is a good sign as it tells us that both were happy with the game. The older dog may choose to lie on it’s back to make himself an easy playmate for the puppy instead of overpowering him which would be very easy, especially with a difference in size! 

In the below photo, the puppy is playing ‘tug’ with an adult dog. The puppy is being polite and holding back a little but, in this instance, the older dog approached the puppy carrying a cardboard tube, ‘asking’ him to take hold of the tube and tug! Adult dogs are not always tolerant of puppies and will tell them off sometimes if they are too boisterous but in this picture, the adult dog is encouraging the puppy to play. The tube was offered to the puppy over and over again until he felt confident enough to take hold.

All this learning means that our dogs as adults can continue to play with each other, and even if it looks quite boisterous to us humans at times, our dogs are having a great time!

At Dog School, we spend plenty of time in our puppy classes letting the puppies meet, greet and get to know each other. But it isn’t a free for all with puppies rampaging around; instead, it’s a great chance to watch the interactions between puppies, talk about their body language and help each puppy learn something.

You can contact us on edinburghdogschool@dogstrust.org.uk for more details.

If you would like to follow us on social media you can find us on Instagram: @dogschooledinburgh or on Twitter: @DogSchoolEdin. Want to learn more how dogs communicate with other dogs? Why not bring your puppy to one of our classes?