I am posting these because Mom and I have been talking a lot about proper playtime and when things get out of hand. Ok, she talks and I just stare at her but I'm really listening I promise!
Mom found this cool article on Dogster (we love them!) about choosing a proper playmate and I told her it's a good one. Think about it - you're pretty picky about who you would let play with your human child, right? Well why should us furry kids be any different?
See, the thing is that there are some dogs in my 'hood who just don't play nice. I don't mean that they're not nice dogs, they really are, but their play styles don't mesh well with mine and sometimes I just get a little mad. Mom has been paying closer attention to my body language and has started to pick up on the doggie play cues I give off. I am pretty demonstrative when I don't like something but there are little things I do as I'm starting to get annoyed too. This "Doggie Language" chart below has helped her a lot:
|Thanks to Leap Dog Training for the resource!|
The main thing is that Mom looks for my body, head, ears, and tail to stay loose. Look at the "friendly" or "happy" dogs above - nothing sticks out straight and the muscles are relaxed. This article calls this Jell-O bones and it's a good analogy - everything should be wiggly and jiggly.
Above all else, Mom has learned to say "NO" and walk away from the dogs that I don't get along with. It was hard at first because of course everybody wants to play with me (duh, I'm adorable...) but we've learned it's just easier to avoid some situations. The long, retractable leash? Nope. The unruly and untrained puppy? No thanks. I'm learning that there are good times to play and times when it's just best to go the other way.
So what about you...how do you like to play?