Playing with your small dog not only keeps them physically healthy but also mentally fit. Many times a naughty dog is a bored, under-exercised dog, trying to entertain themselves. Regular play can be fun for the both you while strengthening the bond between you.
When it comes to playing with your small dog, think outside the toy box. Fetch, Hide and Seek and Tug of War are great games, but variety is a must. Think of games that challenge your dog, physically and mentally.
Agility Courses stimulate the mind and body. During the run of the Agility Course, dog and owner are faced with obstacles such as tunnels, weave poles and teeter boards. The owner works the dog to overcome these obstacles and complete the course in the time allotted. At the end of the course reward your dog with a favorite treat or toy.
Canine Freestyle allows dog and owner to put into practice obedience, and get their groove on. No, your dog will not be performing in the next ballroom championship, but they will be sharpening their obedience skills and bonding with you at the same time. The goal of Freestyle is to present the dog in an artistic and unique style. Dog and handler run through a series of movements choreographed to music. No guiding touch is allowed however verbal and hand, or body, cues are permitted. Each routine has required, and optional moves but how they are executed is up the handler. Movements may include spins, pivots, backing, weaves, and circles. Canine Freestyle is sure to keep you both fit, and it's fun.
Your dog may be small but they are mighty. Not many people equate swimming with small dogs but they should. Many small dogs love playing in the water. Remember, safety is rule #1; your dog should always wear a Doggie Life Jacket when around water and never leave them unsupervised. To get your dog swimming, build their confidence and show them water is not to be feared. This water introduction is a great trust building exercise. Once their confidence is established, and they can’t wait to get in the water, introduce them to water sports such as retrieving.
Dog parks are always great for playtime. Taking your small dog to the dog park frequently helps to socialize them and burns off energy. When at the dog park practice commands such as come, sit and leave it. A good game of fetch is always encouraged. If your small dog has a best doggie friend, schedule play dates to meet at the park. It's best to find a dog park which provides a separate area exclusively for small dogs. Co-mingling with large dogs can be very risky.
At the end of the day remember, the dog is man's best friend, and you are their everything. Make it a daily habit to play with your small dog. The love they give you in return is priceless.