Dear Labby: Playtime with Pup
What games should I play with my dog? We just rescued a medium size dog (45 lbs) from the shelter. He seems really hyper. I walk him for 15-20 minutes every day, but he seems fixated on his ball and all he wants to do is play fetch. He is also very destructive in the house, chewing on things and racing around. Are there other games or activities I should be doing with him? We’ve never had a dog before, so I just don’t know, maybe this is normal. Can you help?
There’s tons of games you can play with your dog. But, let’s start with his daily exercise routine. A medium sized dog probably needs more activity than a 15 minute walk. I would recommend at least double that – both the length of the walk and the number of times per day – so TWO 30 minutes walks a day. After doing that for a week or so, see how his behavior is – is he still ‘hyper’ or does he settle in more easily? Increase the structured activity as necessary until the point he’s more controlled and relaxed in the house.
As far as playing, dogs absolutely need to play – it is part of their DNA. And fetch is on of their favorite games. But don’t let him become obsessed with it. Introduce different games such as hide & seek or chase – get him him to expend his energy in different ways. We have a book with lots of games called: Brain Games for Dogs. It has all sorts of games to play from easy to hard. You can also try agility – many of our FitDog Friday Blog Hop dogs do agility, come back tomorrow and see what they write about.
Don’t neglect mental exercise – that’s just as important. Many people use Kongs with hidden treats – we wrote a blog post a few months ago on some of Jack’s favorite mental toys. There’s nothing quite as fun & enjoyable as having a well exercised dog as part of your family. They will bring you many years of happiness if you take good care of them. That means exercising their brain and their body and when it comes down to it, all of that stuff is just ‘PLAY’ to a dog.
I’m sure our readers have lots of other ideas about fun games or activities to do with your new dog. Please add your suggestions for Benny to the comments.
We’re joining up with 2 Brown Dawgs for This ‘N That Thursday Blog Hop!