All Things Pets

How to Encourage End of Playtime Behavior with Your Furry Friend

Some pups just don’t seem to have an off switch.

Your fur baby may still want to play long after a game of toss and fetch or tug of war has run its course. It might be tempting to wear her out when you need a tired and quiet dog, but continuous playtime could put her in danger if the weather is sweltering.

The longer a behavior has been reinforced, the more patience you will need to retrain. Every doggie should know when a particular playtime session is over.

The experts at The Dog Journal have some advice on how to end a play session.

  1. Engage in your dog’s favorite activity — say, fetching a ball.
  2. After a reasonable period of fetch time, say, “All done.” Put the ball away and out of sight.
  3. Give your dog a fun alternative she can do by herself, such as emptying a peanut butter-stuffed Kong.
  4. Occupy yourself with something, read a book, watch TV, or surf the web.
  5. Ignore your dog’s attempts to resume play, such as going to the shelf and barking or bringing you a different toy. Don’t even repeat your off-switch cue. Ignore her.
  6. Make sure to tell all other nearby humans to similarly ignore her attempts for play when the “all done” has been given.
  7. Be prepared to quietly (so as not to excite) praise her when she finally lies down and starts to chew on the stuffed Kong.
  8. Use your off-switch cue every time you end a play session and don’t give in if she persists. The more consistent you are, the sooner you will see her accept that play is over when you say it is.

Follow these simple suggestions and your fur baby will learn to relax when playtime ends.


Laura Sutherland

Laura Sutherland is the owner of WAG-n-TRAIN pet services, East Dallas’s premier pet care provider. Laura is insured, and a member of the Professional United Petsitters (PUPs).

Related Articles

Back to top button