Puppy Play Etiquette

While puppy playtime is important for the development of social skills, there are some very important things to keep in mind so your pup doesn’t become socially awkward or shy (or worse!).

Puppy Social Time Basics

Whether in class or on a playdate with your friends’ vaccinated, well behaved dogs, follow
these safe and fun playtime tips for optimum socialization experience:

● All puppies playing should have relaxed and happy body language.

● Puppies should be taking turns chasing, wrestling, and getting toys.

● Puppies should take breaks to sniff and explore, as well as drink water – especially if
one of the pups gives an indicator that something made them uncomfortable!

● If a puppy checks in with you voluntarily, reinforce this good behavior with a treat!

If any of the above seem to be missing, take a break from playtime by retrieving your

Reasons to end puppy social time

Dogs are social learners, so it’s important to make sure your pup’s interactions with other
dogs are teaching your puppy good things about play, and that you end the interaction if
the other dog is displaying behavior you don’t want your puppy to do.

When should you end an interaction with another dog?

● Either dog is showing fearful or aggressive body language.

● One dog is doing all of the chasing, mouthing, humping, and tackling.

● The dogs aren’t taking a break on their own and “play” seems to be escalating
(faster, louder, rougher).

● Either dog is taking refuge under an object or their owner’s legs.

When you need to interrupt play, inform the other dog owner so they can get their dog
away from your dog. Use your practiced collar grab to get your puppy and leash them up,
then invite your dog to leave the situation with the “Let’s Go” cue and lots of treats.

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