What is cuter than watching your dog(s) play? But why do they play? Playing helps dogs develop life skills regarding their body movement, defending themselves, and food acquisition, among others. When playing, they chase each other, roll on the ground, bike each other, and pick up objects with their mouths.
Besides, it is essential to the overall dog’s well-being; the development of social behaviors reduces behavioral issues like anxiety, aggression, and whining. Thus, if your dog loves playing, it is a good thing. To get details of why your dog always loves playing and on other related topics, continue reading this article to the end.
Why Does My Dog Always Want To Play?
Develop self-defense mechanism
While in the field playing or while walking your dog, it might encounter a threat from fellow dogs or other wild animals. In that case, it ought to be able to defend itself. Through playing with each, the dog develops some defense mechanism. This is essential as it is capable of defending itself in case it encounters danger.
No matter how domesticated dogs are, they enjoy the thrill of hunting other smaller animals while in the field. If it comes across a rabbit and other smaller animals in the food chain, the dog will hunt them down for food.
Does your dog prefer playing with you all the time? In this case, the dog might be trying to draw some attention as it wants to spend more time with you. This might happen if you are really at home and when you arrive, you never spend time together.
When dogs play, they develop the sociable behavior necessary to interact with other pets. It also gets exposure to seeing lots of people and becomes used to large groups. That’s why, even when you have guests at home, your dog sticks around and is not afraid of people.
How regularly do you spend time with your dog outside? How often does your dog interact with other dogs in the neighborhood? If your dog always wants to play, it might be because it does not get enough time to play with other dogs or with you. If not so often, when it gets a chance to be outside, it will try as much as possible to maximize its time by playing with you even when it is time to get inside.
What Is The Significance Of Dog Playing?
Promotes dog well-being
Dogs that do not play a lot develop behavioral issues like anxiety and aggression. Thus, if your dog likes playing a lot, it’s a good thing and should be encouraged. Besides, when your dog doesn’t play enough, it can result in regular whining or failing to come when called. Therefore, playing is key to a dog’s happiness.
Prevent the development of behavioral issues
Just like humans, dogs need to play regularly to promote their physical and mental fitness. A study conducted by Bristol University reveals that lack of play can result in the development of over twenty-two behavioral issues. Some of these undesirable behaviors include anxiety, aggression, whining, or pulling on the lead.
Why Does My Dog Always Want To Play Fetch?
It is a dog’s instinct.
Since the early days when man started domesticating dogs, the purpose was to help them hunt. Thus, this behavior is likely to have a trickledown effect from one generation to the next generation. Even though you do not hunt with your dog, these inherent instincts will make it want to fetch.
It makes them feel great.
Due to this inherent chasing and retrieving behavior, your dog is likely to get hooked very fast when introduced to fetch. You will notice that whenever your dog plays fetch, it is the happiest. Also, it is a form of training through which the dog can flex its skills and get praised for doing so.
Spend time with you
Bond-boosting is another reason your dog might be enjoying fetch more than other games. Fetch is one of the games that your dog can get to play with you. Dogs love spending quality time with their master. How often do you play with your dog? If you rarely spend time with your dog, whenever it gets the opportunity to play fetch with you, it will want to continue to an extended length.
You have encouraged retrieval instinct.
During training, possibilities are your dog was encouraged to track, chase and retrieve things. If that is the case, your dog is likely to continue exhibiting such traits. Besides, after retrieving it, you will always want to bring back the item to make you proud of it.
What breed is your dog? Is it among the commonly known retriever breeds, like the Labrador? While dogs are known to have inborn chasing and retrieving instincts, some breeds are more inclined to this behavior than others. If that is the case, then your dog loves this game due to its breed.
It is fun.
Dogs generally love the thrill of chasing something. Your dog might be enjoying the feeling of the adrenaline rush.
What Are The Signs Your Dog Might Be Obsessed With Fetch?
Fetch is a great game for your pet for all the reasons we have identified above. However, at what level do you realize your dog does not only like fetch but is a bit obsessed? Below are some signs to keep on the lookout for.
The dog goes into a trance-like state whenever the ball goes out, to the extent of not noticing anything else.
It becomes difficult to distract it. When playing fetch, it could be a sign of obsession if your dog does not want to change the game.
He guards the ball while in the park and growls at other dogs who try to take it.
Demonstrates high levels of anxiety whenever he is unable to retrieve the ball is another sign of obsession.
Is Fetch Obsession Dangerous?
When your dog is fixated on the ball, it might get into obstacles and get hurt, or if running across the road, it might get hit by a car.
It can hurt the carrier of the ball, even if it is a child.
It can run itself to exhaustion if it plays fetch without observation.
How Can You Address The Obsession Issue?
Develop a routine
Let your dog know that fetch time is guaranteed daily or certain days in a week. However, let the dog know that playtime has a limit. Dogs are very good at following commands and routines, and if they are introduced to a routine, they will reduce their obsession rate.
Train your dog to obey the command
You can train your dog to obey commands at all times. For instance, when the fetch time is up, use a specific command to let your dog know the playtime is over.
Limit access to objects of obsession
What toys does your dog love playing fetch with? Identifying and limiting access to these toys can minimize the urge to play fetch all the time.
Incorporate other exercises
Apart from fetch, which other game does your dog play? Is it involved in interacting with other dogs in the neighborhood or at the park? If not, it is time to incorporate other games so that your dog can have a variety of things to do while outside.
Why Does My Dog Always Want To Play After Eating?
Type of food
One of the root causes of your dog’s excitement after the meal might be the meal composition. What are the dog’s food compositions? If you always feed your dog with food rich in sugar and carbohydrates, it is likely to have an outburst of energy to play after eating. Please read the label of the food and ensure it has minimal carbohydrate content.
Did you change your dog’s usual meal? The new food may cause some allergic reactions. It is possible that he might get excited about the new taste and flavor of the new meal. In this case, the excitement might be more emotional than physical.
Is it normal for my dog to play after eating?
Yes, dogs should at least be allowed to play for about two hours after the meal. Playing after the meal is essential in promoting proper digestion and preventing the possible development of stomach gas problems. Also, it acts as an outlet for excess energy resulting from eating.
After how long should I wait to walk my dog?
The vet recommends that you should take your dog out 2 hours after the meal. Exercising immediately after eating can lead to twisting of the stomach. A bloated stomach can result in serious indigestion and discomfort.
Why Does My Dog Always Want To Play Fight With Me?
Playing ought to be a fun moment. It is said to be a necessary part of growing. However, when the dog starts becoming a little bit aggressive, it can be problematic for the owner.
If a dog is stressed, it might start playing rough with you as a way of communicating. When this happens, it is essential to consider if there have been changes in the environment, changes in food, and other things that could trigger stress.
How many times do you feed your dog in a day? Does it play rough before or after the meal? If your dog is not getting enough food, it might develop aggressive behavior. This will be demonstrated clearly while playing. Try feeding your dog all the meals.
Is it possible that your dog is not properly trained or has not received any training whatsoever? Training helps the dog to develop acceptable social behaviors. However, if your dog has not received proper training, it might exhibit behaviors of playing rough. In this case, your dog is unaware of any wrongdoing, and it’s best to find a proper trainer.
It is natural
Have you noticed that your dog plays a little bit rough with you? In most cases, this behavior is nothing to worry about. Dogs usually explore their world through various activities like biting. However, it is essential not to tolerate such behavior as it is an unhealthy form of interaction.
What To Do When Your Dog Plays Rough With You
Stop encouraging behavior
This behavior is unacceptable and has to stop. One of the best strategies to stop this rough play is to ignore it completely. Avoid interacting with it whenever it jumps onto you or bites. Also, you can try leaving the room and keeping yourself busy with other stuff. This will make you bored, and the dog will end up stopping its behavior.
Prevent behavior from escalating
When playing with your dog, if you realize the aggressive behavior is trying to escalate, it is essential to stop playing before it gets carried away completely. Then, if playtime is not yet over, you can provide it with some toys and let it play fetch. Alternatively, you can take it for a long walk. Walks usually take the mind off something that one was really into.
Redirecting to another form of play
During the play, immediately you realize his arousal is escalating, try initiating another form of exercise. For instance, you can introduce toys, and if there are other pets, you can also let them join the play. In this way, the dog will stop concentrating on you so much as it has its attention diverted to other things.
Why Does My Dog Always Want To Play At Night?
Lack of enough physical exercise
How much exercise does your dog get during the day? If you rarely take it for a walk or play in the park or even play in the backyard during the day, him wanting to play at night is a way to try to let excess energy out. It is a common behavior among active breeds like the German Shepherds; if they fail to get enough exercise daily, they will always show some level of excitement at night.
Lack of mental stimulation
Your dog may be getting hyper at night because it is not getting enough mental stimulation. If the dog has not been engaged during the day, it is likely to become bored and remain awake at night.
Excess energy is usually associated with hyperactivity, and the opposite is also possible. This might result in a burst of crazy energy at night.
Fear or anxiety
If your dog is anxious about something, it might become hyperactive. Have there been environmental changes like the introduction of new frequent sleep-over guests? All these can trigger your dog’s behavior.
Eating almost near bedtime
How many hours before bedtime do you feed your dog? Eating close to bedtime leaves no room for exercise to get extra energy out. Thus, the dog will have no alternative other than to be hyperactive.
Why does my dog always want to play with other dogs?
Unlike humans, dogs have to use non-verbal cues to communicate with each other. It is through play that they develop a form of communication and understanding. Thus, there is absolutely nothing to be worried about.
While your dog loves your company, it may enjoy playing with fellow dogs. In this way, it will develop some sociable skills necessary to relate with other dogs.
Sharpen its defensive skills
A dog always needs to be ready for any eventualities. Playing with other dogs gets to gauge its strength and how well it can handle an un-unpleasant situation if attacked by fellow dogs. Thus, your dog wanting to play with other dogs has nothing to do with you.