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PLAYTIME
FOR YOUR DOG

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PLAYTIME
FOR YOUR DOG

Keep him busy
throughout the day

 

 

 

 

by Christina Sondermann

 

 

 

 

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We would like to thank all the two- and four-legged helpers that have contributed to the development and the success of this book: whether through their commitment during our photo sessions, through constructive proof reading or by telling us their inspiring ideas on playing with dogs!

I hope that by having this book translated, even more people and dogs all over the world will be infected with game fever. Of course, I’m also curious: what kind of games are you playing with your dogs? How do you take care of variety in your dog’s everyday life? Please send me your firsthand reports, game ideas, words, pictures and also any links on playing with dogs! I’m looking forward to your emails!

 

 

Christina Sondermann, Meschede/Germany, February 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright of German edition: © 2005 by Cadmos Verlag GmbH, Schwarzenbek

Copyright of this edition: © 2006/2009 by Cadmos Equestrian

Arrangement and setting OF THE PRINT EDITION: Ravenstein and Partners, Verden

Photos: Christina Sondermann

E-Book conversion:

 

All rights reserved

 

Copying or storing in electronic or any other form is only possible with the written permission of the publisher.

 

ISBN 978-3-86127-922-8

 

eISBN 978-0-85788-660-6

Why playing is so useful

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Why playing is so useful

You probably have this game book in front of you because you would like to do something with your dog. You would like to offer your four-legged friend something to liven up his daily routine? Perhaps you have already discovered how much fun joint activities are and need more ideas. Then you are in the right place. This book tells you how you can have a lot of fun with your dog, whether at home or on a walk, without needing expensive equipment or complicated training.

You are probably dying to get going already. A wagging tail and a smiling face are really all the encouragement you need to spend time on joint activities and you actually needn’t continue reading this chapter. However you will probably enjoy playing even more when you know the positive effects these joint activities can have.

 

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Playing at home is easy to do and a useful activity that stimulates and satisfies the dog. Bored and under-occupied dogs bite holes in our socks and rip wallpaper off the walls or, in the worst case, they tear the carpet apart. You can prevent this. Joint activities that you can easily integrate into your normal daily routine while away the time and keep your dog happy.

Canine activities are often associated with extensive walks, jogging and bicycle tours or dog sports. Many people (and dogs) also think of throwing and chasing balls and other objects. However it is not always physical exercise that makes an even-tempered dog. Rather, some dogs become wound up by too much action.

And others – due to age, illnesses or size – are hardly in a position for physical exercise. The same can apply to their two-legged partner.

No problem! The possibilities to play at home are so varied, that you can adjust them to the needs of your dog perfectly. If your four-legged friend is a puppy, for instance, then you can stimulate him mentally and encourage his development by using a mixture of brainwork as well as motion and co-ordination games.

You can offer your older dog something as well. Mentally active dogs stay younger longer and many old dogs prove with enthusiasm that they aren’t past it yet at all. If your dog is wound up easily and is restless, he can learn to concentrate mainly through calm games such as nose-work or brainteasers.

 

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The calmer participants blossom out during living room agility games or on the garden course, and gain self-confidence by passing little tests of courage. And the variety of games possible addresses the tiny Miniature Pinscher as well as the massive Newfoundland.

Overcoming little challenges in the familiar environment of your home builds up your dog’s self-confidence. Not only fearful and insecure dogs benefit: when your dog gets used to overcoming little tests of courage or to solving brainwork tasks successfully through playing together, this will also increase his confidence in everyday life. Could there be anything better than an unconcerned, calm dog? He is often less susceptible to problem behaviour and doesn’t get out of balance that easily.

When you and your dog are devoted to your play programme within the stress free and distraction free atmosphere of your home and are without any pressure to perform, then you are set up for success. It is not only fun, but almost without realising it, you and your canine companion complete a lesson in dog training at the same time. Along the way, you train yourself by teaching your dog little things. You learn how to motivate him, how he reacts, how you can accelerate his learning process. And your dog also learns through play to understand you better and to interpret your signals and cues.

People who can teach their dogs little tasks or tricks generally have fewer problems with important thing (from a human perspective) like “sit”, “down” and “come”. The difference between irrelevant and important exercises only exists for us humans, not for the dogs.

The biggest advantage of playing together is the positive effect it has on the relationship between dog and human. It is quite possible that you will get to know and cherish new talents and a fairly new view of your four-legged partner. Your dog will probably experience the same. And both of you will get better and better at communicating with each other. It is likely that your dog will become more altogether attentive and will look out for you to a greater extent – whether at home or on a walk. Maybe, the next time you call your dog, you will have invented a new activity. And of course Fido will not want to miss that.

 

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To begin your joint play, you need time for your dog (and you should have that as a dog owner anyway), a bit of creativity, to be ready to experiment – and to have plenty of high spirits. This is all you need to benefit from the numerous positive side effects of joint activities.

Special equipment, experience in training or physical fitness is not necessary. “Just play!” is the motto of the activities presented in this book. This is why you won’t find any difficult exercises or tricks, but just games, at which you and your dog can go straight ahead and be successful. Be inspired to try it yourself. Have a good time discovering the unlimited possibilities of playing!

 

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