But there are some dogs that are a little more leery of play, particularly when they're asked to get into a game with strangers.
Sinead is one of these dogs. She'll play like crazy with me, but she rarely feels comfortable interacting in a playful manner with people she doesn't know all that well. And until yesterday, I thought that picky habit had to do with her and her innate thoughtful nature.
But then I stumbled across a study.
Researchers looked closely at the play habits of a bunch of dogs, trying to determine what sorts of human things were the most likely to get these critters in the mood to interact. And, as it turns out, we humans have been getting the dog thing all wrong.
These are the top 5 proven ways to get a dog to play, per this research:
- Chase the pup for a second, and then run off to let the pup chase you.
- Tap your chest to get the pup to jump up on you.
- Grab or hold a pup's paws.
- Play bow.
- Lunge forward.
- Touch or pat the floor.
- Scruff the pup.
- Stomp your feet.
- Kiss the dog.
And, knowing what makes dogs tick could also help me when I'm meeting dogs I don't know all that well. These tips could help me to entice those pups to play just a little faster (which could make me look a little more dog awesome).
If you'd like to see another summation of this study, click here. But also, if you have opinions about these results and how they apply to dog play, I'd love to hear them! Drop me a note and tell me what techniques work for you.