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puppy-playing-ballPlay is very important to build a bond and trust between you and your new puppy. However, it is important to set boundaries for playing. Dogs that have played with humans can be much more fun to have around and can be more sociable than those who have only learnt to play with dogs.

When playing a sharing game, you must win most often than not. The puppy must win occasionally so they keep an interest in the game. This tells your pup that you are in charge of play time. It is good to end play with your puppy while he still wants to play as this will keep him interested in you. It's important to put away the toy after the game has finished. It's recommended to have a selection of toys, some to share with your puppy and some to play with on their own.

You can purchase various toys for your new puppy, like a ball on a rope, a tuggy toy, a squeaky toy and an interactive toy. This gives them different textures and activities to experience. Interactive toys keep them occupied mentally and physically, for example a Kong or an activity ball. Chewy toys can also benefit your dog by promoting healthy teeth and gums while having fun. Visit Vet4life and see what you can find. Julie is our puppy training and behaviour expert and she is happy to speak to you any time.

Things to avoid:

  • Rough and tumble games as this will encourage mouthing and play biting
  • Chasing games with children as the dog may see the child as a toy
  • Leaving children alone with the dog
  • Playing with sticks as these can cause injuries to the dog
  • Excessive use of tennis balls as they can damage their teeth


  • the toy belongs to you and not your dog
  • Short sessions of play are best - it is the quality not quantity
  • Adequate physical and mental exercise are essential for a happy dog
  • Have fun!

For more tips and guidance on how to train your new puppy or your dog, it's best to speak to Julie at Teddington on 020 8977 3955, Shepperton on 01932 229 900 or Surbiton on 0208 390 5270. We also run puppy training classes at each of our clinics.