Why do dogs play?

April 13, 2012

Dogs are very lively creatures. A dog in the family would mean hours of fun as these animals apart from being lovable and affectionate would also be wonderful companions. However, taking care of a dog is comparable to caring for a small child. Cats have a rather aloof personality and may not need a lot of attention from their masters. Dogs though form a strong bond with its people. These pets are also very dependent on their human family. Because dogs have a penchant for playing, the owners have to make sure that opportunities to play are provided for the pet.

Playing is a serious activity for a dog. Even a three weeks old puppy that is still wobbly on its feet will be seen playing with its littermates. The wresting, the chasing, tumbling and biting are all play. The puppies are in fact learning the skill necessary to survive in the real world. Dogs in the wild have to hunt and to protect themselves from predators. The hunting and fighting skills are learned when puppies are playing with its siblings. Since dogs were domesticated, they no longer need to hunt for their food. It is most unlikely that these modern day dogs would have to fight predators. Nevertheless, puppies still indulge in play fighting with their littermates. This time playing is done to hone the social skills of the dog. While playing, the mother dog will teach the puppies canine good manners. Of course playing will also be an ideal activity to develop the bones and the muscles as well as to keep the dog mentally alert.

The dog may not be aware that by playing they are keeping themselves physically and mentally fit. For the dog, playing is a good activity as it is fun. It is also a good way to be with its favorite people. It must be remembered that apart from being social animals, dogs would crave for the attention of its people. What can be a better way of bonding with the family than playing catch ball and Frisbees?

Kids would need the parents to set up play dates. The kid can be taken to a park or to other kid’s house to play. Since children and dogs have many similarities, the dog may benefit more from playing if it is allowed to play with other dogs. Dogs are the most popular choice for a pet but most households are one-dog homes. It would be necessary for the owner to take the dog to a dog care center or to a dog park where the pet will be given the chance to play and interact with other dogs.

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