A tired puppy is a well-behaved puppy. Play for any pet is much more than just recreational. Play is a way to practice life-skills, and exercise not only the body but the mind as well. Quite simply, a bored pet will usually find trouble to get into.
Puppies generally start playing by exploring their world with their mouths. That is why it is very important to have chew toys that vary in texture, flavor and durability. One of the most ideal chews is a raw marrow bone. In chewing off the meaty strips your dog will have to use his upper body strength to hold the bone down, resulting in a total body workout, with the added benefit of clean and healthy teeth and gums.
Why do dogs go nuts over squeaky toys? In your dog’s primitive brain, that squeak represents a mouse or a chipmunk that must be found and destroyed. When your mighty hunter is furiously shaking that squeaky toy, in his mind he’s got to break its neck and ‘kill’ the squeak. This is a perfect example of play imitating life-skills. Play-fighting and wrestling with other dogs is a very beneficial way for a dog to practice his skills and get a good workout all at once.
Any way you can get your dog to run, leap or swim will keep him in great physical shape and will also make him too tired to look for trouble to get into. Balls, Frisbees and long walks or hikes all work very well. Setting up play dates with other friendly dogs is also a great way to socialize and exercise the mind and body.
We carry toys for every age, lifestyle and budget. Yes, we have lots of the old favorites, but we also are continuously adding more new and innovative toys to the mix. It is not important that your dog has lots and lots of toys, but a few quality good ones that you rotate in and out of sight will keep boredom at bay.
Treats generally fall into 3 categories. Training, Potty Training and ‘just because you’re so cute’ treats all serve a purpose. The training treats that we recommend for our classes are generally small, soft and very aromatic. In training, treats are not a snack, but a quick reward to reinforce behaviors that you like. Dogs are usually willing to work hard for the soft good-smelling treats.
For Potty Training, you do not want a treat that is too desirable, or your dog will forget what it is outside to do. Those treats are usually light and crispy, and not too filling. They are just a quick way to say, “Good job” when all business has been taken care of.
‘Just because you’re so cute’ treats are exactly that. We treat our dogs because we love them, and they in turn look at us with such adoration that it could not possibly be just a ploy for more treats. One thing to keep in mind when you are loving your dog with treats is do not overdo it. Treats add extra calories and too many treats will make your dog less interested in his nutritious food at mealtimes. Keep the treats small, and remember that any attention from you is just as good as a treat.
We can offer you expert advice on all stages of your dog’s training and behavior. Whether it is a ‘gotta have’ toy, an irresistible treat or chew, or a specific training tool, we have everything you need in one place, and we’re happy to help you!