Playing is as important for your dog as breathing and eating. In order to have a dog that is properly mentally and physically developed, it is essential that play is part of its growth process.
Without a chance to play, whether it is with people, other dogs or even just a puppy playing with itself, a dog will not grow into a fully developed adult dog. Play is a very important requirement in order to produce a dog that is emotionally, physically, mentally and socially ready to function as a socially acceptable adult dog.
Puppies at play are learning to communicate with each other, they are learning how to fight without hurting the other dog, they practice hunting techniques and they have fun.
There are two schools of thought on puppy play. Some trainers think that a puppy should be allowed at least 30 minutes of free play each day. It is thought that this helps develop the puppy's brain, min pin puppies for adoption
the other school of thought believes that a puppy should receive training and direction as soon as possible in order to avoid learning bad habits.
How do puppies play? Puppies generally jump around from one form of activity to another with chewing, nipping, tugging and play fighting being the chief forms of play. In many breeds there are certain characteristics that stand out, as in hunting dogs the idea of stalking and hunting seems to be easy to observe.
A play bow seems to be an important way a dog communicates with another dog. A play bow is when the front legs are down in front of the puppy and the hind quarters are up in the air with a tail that wags or not. This is an invitation to come and fool around; I want to have some fun. The muscles should be loose and relaxed and not tight and stiff. The play bow also tells the other puppy/dog that if I accidentally nip or bite you I am only fooling and I am sorry.
A play bow with the puppy running means chase me. If the puppy/dog has a toy in its mouth it is an invitation for the other dog to chase and try to get the toy.
Wrestling and nipping during play is a way for a puppy/dog to learn how to control its bite. If the puppy continually bites too hard its playmate generally will leave the play and the biting puppy begins to learn a valuable lesson.
Puppy play is usually mock fighting, it is a way to learn how to fight and protect themselves, but also a lesson in controlling their bite and ferociousness.
At times the puppies may get into a pinning match where one dog places its head or body over another dog. In play the underdog can usually wiggle out, but once in a while it gets into a growling match as the top dog begins to feel dominant. In this case it maybe necessary for the owners to separate the puppies and get them to calm down.
A sign of play is loose muscles and joints and they are moving a lot, however a sign of stiff joints and muscles can relate to an over excited dog that may start a scuffle or fight. In this case redirection of the dog's attention is necessary.