By the time your puppy is just two weeks old they enjoy wrestling with their litter mates. This is critical to their development. They learn boundaries and it helps with their social skills and self-control. This playful spirit doesn’t go away and all they will want to do is play with other dogs. Be warned, it is up to you to make sure the play remains playful.
Read the signs
Here a few signs to watch out for so you know your puppy is ready to play:
· The ‘play-bow’ – Their front legs go on the ground and back end points to the sky.
· Taking turns – This is where your puppy takes turns with other dogs to chase one another.
· Smiling – You might actually see your dog look as if he is smiling.
· Growling – But isn’t growling aggressive? Puppies who growl whilst playing are simply excited and this is a playful noise so long as it is not accompanied by other aggressive signs.
· Play biting – This is the most difficult for owners to interpret because generally speaking, biting looks aggressive. As long as there isn’t aggressive growling it is OK. Puppies do this with their parents and siblings but learn where to draw the line.
Keeping it fun
Your pup will stay playful as long as they never feel fearful about meeting other dogs. Take him to dog parks regularly so they can play with as many dogs as they can. Just be sure to keep an eye on the play and put a stop to it if it becomes too intense. As long as your puppy maintains a positive association with playing with other dogs then he will never lose that playfulness.