What Play Style Suits My Dog?

What Play Style Suits My Dog?

Playtime: AKA, your dog’s favourite time of day (other than dinner time of course!)

While some activities will always get their tail wagging, other forms of play may cause your dog to turn up their nose. This is because all dogs have unique play styles influenced by their breed, how they were raised, their training and individual preferences.

See our blog below on which dog play styles best fit your four legged friend.

The Wrestler

The wrestlers like to wrestle. This includes full body contact, and can often be seen with an open mouth, showing teeth and looking like they are biting. A lot of dogs are aware of the limit but play can easily get out of control and sometimes escalate into something more serious. This is a common play style in sporting and terrier groups, enjoyed by lightweights and heavyweights alike.

Always keep an eye on dogs wrestling and step in when either dog is no longer having fun or when you notice signs of stress. While some dogs can understand which humans want to play and when, others can mistake cues and think anyone is up to wrestle. Tug of war is a great way to release some pent up energy in your wrestler.

The Cheerleader

Cheerleaders tend to play alongside other dogs who are playing rather than being in the middle of the game. You can spot them running and barking along the outer edge around the group. Sometimes your dog might try to break up the play when they feel it’s too rough, and the others might not appreciate the fun coming to a halt – so pull them out of the group if needed. Sometimes this behaviour allows the group to calm down but other times it can cause issues. It can kickstart fights between dogs who do not appreciate having their “fun” interrupted. This play style is common in the herder group.

The Chaser

One word: run!

If there’s anything chasers like doing, it’s running. While some of these runners prefer to lead the pack, others like to be the target of the chase. Watch for dogs that change from the fun game of chase to seeing the other dog as prey. It is best to keep the game of chase with partners close in size.

Bred with the stamina for long runs, herders and hounds both tend to fall into this category – but dogs of all types can enjoy the thrill of the chase. Why not load up a toy with wheels such a battery-controlled car and play with your dog until they run out of steam (or the toy out of batteries!)

KONG Tuggz Orange Monkey, X-Large

The Tugger

Dogs who love to play tug with an object with fellow canines or humans. These tug-of-war enthusiasts enjoy a good stick or rope to grapple over. Encourage them to play with other dogs or humans – but always avoid this type of play in dogs that display possessive aggression.

Tug of war can provide an opportunity to teach your dog the commands such as “take it” and “drop it,” and reward them with a treat when they get it right. This could come in handy if they get their mouth on off-limits items.

The Soft Toucher

Soft touchers enjoy short bouts of play with soft touches. Short-and-sweet play is a key component for these dogs, typically herders and smaller breeds, but also seniors and lower-energy pups. These dogs are more hesitant to play with other dogs, and may not be as confident or suffer from injury.

The Body Slammer

Body slammer enjoy the art of running at full speed into another dog or human and see if they can knock them off their feet. Bumper cars have nothing on these types of players-their style of play tends to be very full contact and hard hitting. Similarly sized dogs could make better playmates for these slammers- just make sure no one is uncomfortable or injured.

The DIYer

Some dogs just like being a lone wolf. This is when the dog can entertain himself, by tossing a toy in the air and chasing after it, wrestling with a squeaky toy, an interactive puzzle toy, or just running around. They tend not to get bored easily. This is frequently seen in hounds, which were bred to hunt independently alongside humans. Retrievers also can fall in this group, although they might let you join their games of fetch.

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