Personal Play with Your Dog


I usually use food or life rewards as motivation for Mr. N. I’ve been slowly trying to use more toys as rewards (usually paired with food) and we’ve also been working on our personal play skills (play without toys or food). Denise Fenzi’s play class can’t get here soon enough. 

Apparently Mr. N has taken this lesson to heart. He woke me up from a nap to play “wrestle bitey face” and this is a dog that loves napping as much as I do! As Mr. N has a considerable size disadvantage, he uses his full body in play while I use one hand to bat him around. 
Emphasis on the bitey face. 
He also likes playing chase. We take turns being the chaser and chasee. There are differing opinions on whether chasing your dog in play will hamper their recall but Mr. N is so super velcro anyway that he will circle back and check in with me if I’m too far behind. 
Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me!
We will also occasionally play spider hand where I creep my hand on the floor and he chases it down. 
What kind of personal play games do you play with your dog?
Welcome to First Monday’s Positive Pet Training Blog Hop hosted by Cascadian NomadsTenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days. Please share your responsible pet owner positive pet training tips by linking a blog post or leaving a comment below.  Our theme for this month is reporting back on trying new training games and play. but any positive reinforcement training posts or comments are also always welcome. The Positive Pet Training Blog Hop goes all week long. Our next hop will begin  Tuesday, July 5th because of the holiday and continues for a week. 




27 Responses

  1. K-Koira

    June 6, 2016 4:25 pm

    We use a combination of personal play and toy play as our main rewards for flyball. A tug toy, combined with actually interacting with my dog (too many people toss a tug toy at their dog and then don't actually interact with them), is my favorite reward for my dog, and I have been working at teaching Ptera to really enjoy this kind of play. I got one of the best compliments at flyball practice the other day- a teammate was watching me working with Ptera, and told me "thank you for playing with your dog!" It meant a lot to me.

  2. Ann Staub

    June 6, 2016 7:01 pm

    The spider hand game is fun, and Shiner likes that one too! Except she's a bit bigger so she only uses her mouth and front paws most of the time.

  3. Janet Keefe

    June 7, 2016 4:33 pm

    Mr. N sure looks to be having fun! Luke can get a little too excited and rough if I try to get him to play chase or wrestle. I like to crouch down and encourage him to run….but if he runs at me I have to dodge him…LOL. It's such good exercise for them!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  4. cupcakepetrillo

    June 7, 2016 7:09 pm

    Mom plays a weird game called, "Why are you smacking yourself?" She makes me smack myself with my paw. When she does it a lot, I give her a million kisses to make her laugh.

    Love and licks,

  5. Talent Hounds

    June 8, 2016 9:46 pm

    Kilo the Pug absolutely loves the fighty fist/bitey face game and tug. He craves it in the morning and at 4pm every day. He also plays with my husband when he gets home. I roll him over and make him exercise his core tickling etc and I get toys for tug. We play soccer and chase too.

  6. Dolly theDoxie

    June 9, 2016 12:15 am

    It sounds like you and Mr N have a great relationship and have lots of fun. I love to play chase, but only if mom chases me, I never chase her! Taffy will start to play bitey face or tug if you get her going though. Love Dolly

  7. doggermama

    June 9, 2016 12:20 am

    As a professional dog trainer, I really love your consideration to thinking about how play will affect response to commands and overall behavior! Terrific! And Rugby and I play "Piggies" with his polka dottie piggies. I push him away while he's holding his piggie, and he comes right back to poke me with his piggie….teasing me that I can take it, but not really. Sort of a "Neener, neener, neener" opinion from him! 😀

  8. AliR

    June 9, 2016 12:49 am

    Ha! I tried playing the chaser, chasee game with Piper. No problem with me chasing her but if I stop and start to go the other way, she will sit where she is and just look at me like I'm a nutcase and wait for me to return to her. The only exception is when I have REALLY good treats – she is only sometimes, mildly food motivated 😉 Also – thanks for the reminder to get my positive training post up!

  9. Elizabeth Keene

    June 9, 2016 2:38 am

    I can't IMAGINE one of the corgis trying to initiate bitey face with ME! OMD! Mr. N! ☺ But I love playing with the dogs, especially chase around the house like looney tunes (that's the official name of that game). Even my senior foster dog likes to play that one. Maybe I'll get someone to video us one day.

  10. Christy Paws

    June 9, 2016 3:25 am

    Mom says reading your posts and comments makes her miss having a dog. Stop that, you guys! Seriously, it sounds like you have a lot of fun. We kitties like to play too.

  11. Bryn Nowell

    June 10, 2016 2:05 pm

    Now that we have two pups, play happens a lot between the two of them. When they are separated, we have some one-on-one play which can include fetch and running around in the backyard!

  12. Beth

    June 10, 2016 9:59 pm

    I'm usually "chasing" Barley in agility class because she's so much faster than I am! Often, we start out together, though, because if I am running too far ahead of her a lot of times she thinks it's better to chase me down than to go over the jumps 😉

  13. nalathewonderdog

    June 13, 2016 4:39 am

    Ooh, we play wrestle-bitey-hands-face! In our house, we call it "the most dangerous game," because, seriously, shepherd jaws are no joke (Nala actually has lovely bite inhibition, but I always feel like I'm tempting fate!).

    I love seeing Mr. N so playful! I know you've worked really hard at playing together. 😀

  14. Ruth Epstein

    July 8, 2016 5:40 pm

    Layla plays without treats, her favorite is coming home from the park, she sits outside the door, I go inside and get her a squeaky which we play with in the hallway of our building, she loves the running up and down the halls and squeaking away


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