Matt says: In the last article, I talked about how almost every dog has an instinctive play drive and that with the right knowledge, trainers can tap into their urge to chase, grab, bite and ‘kill’ as a motivation to play.
But what if, no matter what you try, your dog just doesn’t seem to want to play? Sometimes owners then assume that their dog just doesn’t like or want to play – but that’s not usually the case. It’s not that your dog can’t play – it just that your dog has, for some reason, lost its ability to play in front of you.
The key to overcoming this is to get on the same level as your dog. Observe how they like to play with other dogs and try to mimic that. You don’t have to necessarily get on all fours and pretend to bark (though feel free if you’d like to!), but try to notice what behaviours encourage your dog to play.
And remember, play should always be fun for both you and your dog. Carrying on when you are feeling frustrated or pressured is never a good idea. Take frequent breaks and set yourself small goals.
That's it for now, but I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences... Leave a comment below.