25 November 2010

Fun with doggie - Games and Toys

Doggies are a lot like children. They like to play and have a lot of fun. Aschiuta is the perfect example for this. Ever since she was a small puppy, she has been very energetic and growing older hasn't changed that at all.

Toys

Since I said dogs love to play, I should also add that they really like toys, just like children do. A new toy is always a reason of joy. That could also mean that your dog might get bored of old toys. So, here is where you need to outsmart them: make old toys seem new again. Invent new games to be played with them or rotate toys. You will have a happy dog if you do that.

There are many toys for dogs on sale, such as ropes, rubber chew toys, "pinatas" with food inside, balls, frisbees and tug toys. Of course, if you don't have a lot of money, there are always alternatives to the shop offers.

For chewing, we use a lot of harmless and even nutritious things. Check out the post on chewing for more info on what we give our dog to chew on.In short, Aschiuta has several socks, shoelaces, a rubber toy that squeaks and a rope as toys. For eating, we give her carrots, cowhide bones (used to, but not anymore), beef meat on the bone (watching so she doesn't eat the actual bone, it's dangerous).

The rope, shoelaces and socks are also used for games like tug-of-war and to make the doggie jump up to catch them from our hands.

And of course, the favourite toy of all is the tennis ball. She loves to play catch with it. We are currently at our second tennis ball, since the first one disintegrated after being chewed and played with a bit too much. All the balls before (made of foam primarily) disintegrated even faster, so we thought a more solid ball would be in order.

Aschiuta with her tennis ball


Games

Now, toys wouldn't be too interesting if they weren't played with. The topic of games is really vast and dogs can be taught to play quite a number of games.

First of all, there are games that need no toys. They are as simple as running around with your dog, chasing it or letting it chase you. Scorp's mom told me that when he was little, their dog taught him to play tag.
 
Aschiuta also loves to run and we've lately found out the best way of getting her back in the room after she dashes out: run away from her and let her chase us inside. It is also a good way to catch a dog that is trying to run off on its own. If you run after the dog, it will think you want to play chase and it will just run away from you.

Another game to play without toys is wrestling. I wouldn't recommend this game to just anyone, since dogs have teeth and claws and use them when they play. But it can be good fun for both you and your dog.

Now, for games with toys...

The most popular game to play with your dog is fetch. You throw an object (such as a ball or frisbee) and the dog has to catch it and bring it back. This practice is also closely related to hunting with a dog, as hunting dogs are trained to fetch the game the master kills.

Notice the concentrated look... She means business!

It is also important to teach your dog to bring things to you, to save you time and energy running after it to get them back when your little pet turns into a little thief.

Aschiuta learned to play fetch all on her own. It's one of the mysteries of the dog's mind. Maybe she just wanted to keep playing and understood that, for the ball to be thrown again, she'd have to bring it back to us. She also brings us toys when she wants us to play with her; it can be really hard to do any work when she does.
 
Here is my home-made video of Aschiuta as a puppy playing with us. Enjoy.



Tug-of-war is also a popular game and lots of toys have been invented for this purpose. We use the socks, shoelaces and rope. She will grab hard on one end and skid on the slippery wooden floor, but she really wouldn't give up easily. If we don't play with her, she starts mopping the floor with the poor sock.

These are just a few of the most well-known games to play with your dog. The rules of playing are simple: be creative, have fun and stay safe. You can act silly for your dog, jump around and behave like a little kid - your dog will love it!

Playmates

Yes, you play with your dog, but you can also let your dog play with other people or even other dogs (careful about fights, possible diseases or dogs in heat). Let your dog socialise and play; it's good fun for dogs to make friends. Aschiuta would want to play with every person or dog we meet.

The game environment

One more thing to add here is that where you play a game can also be quite important. For example, Aschiuta loves grass and simply going out in general. She feels free and loves to run - she is almost unstoppable in the grass. We went to Brasov (a city close to the mountains) and she went really wild there.

Exploring the great outdoors

All in all, go ahead and play with your dog. You will most likely both enjoy it.

2 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness...your dog is absolutely adorable and so much like my coon hound, Daisy! Daisy loves tennis balls and will stop at nothing to be around them! Thank you for becoming my newest follower! I am now following your blog!

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  2. Thank you! Yes, she is a cute little thing, growing up to be a really lovely young dog.

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