Believe it or not, the way that you play with your dog and the toys you use when playing with your dog can go a very long way in defining your relationship with your dog and his lifelong behavior. To a large extent, the same is true with you and me.
With our dogs, as with us, “play” can be thought at the “dress rehearsal” for “real life”. It is a time where things can be worked out, rules can be established, lessons learned, and behavior created. The difference between dogs and humans is that we have a better understanding of “Oh, that is just play” and comprehend that the behavior we display during playtime may not be appropriate for some situations in our general life experiences.
Dogs, on the other hand, place a much larger link between the activities done in their play time and what they believe they can do the rest of their life. Because of this, we need to be aware of the lessons taught during playtime. Are those the behaviors we will allow the rest of the time? Robin and I have a great article on “Playing with Your Dog and Proper Dog Toys” that gives an example of a trap many dog owners fall into when playing with their dog. Please give it a read today.