iriemade Skip to Content

How to Play Safely with Puppies

Photo by Wallace Chuck from Pexels

Puppies are cute and adorable creatures that kids, as well as adults, love to play with. When doing so, you need to be careful not to be too rough or to carry on the play for too long as these can lead to aggression, injury, grumpiness or extreme attachment. There are simple ways to play with a puppy without causing any abnormality in its behavior or health and safety issues. Thankfully, there are many games as well as toys that are available both to help you socialize with your little dog and ensure the exercise is safe.

Why You Should Play with Your Puppy

Puppies spend a great deal of time sleeping and have lots of energy when they are awake. Playing games help put this energy into good use. Games are ways to tire out your little dog while at the same time building the necessary skills that it will need to be friendly, obedient, and to socialize as an adult dog.

Playing is a part of physical, mental, and social development, and ensuring they get an adequate and healthy playtime helps to raise a well-rounded canine. Normal play behavior includes the puppy wagging its tail, holding up the front part of its body up, darting back and forth, emitting high-pitched growls and barks, etc. while behaviors like deep-tone growling, stiff posture, aggression, etc. show aggressive behavior and this can result in conflict, fear, pain or possessiveness. If your puppy exhibits these latter behaviors, you should talk to a vet.

Steps to Proper Play 

Puppies have a lot of energy so ensure you provide it with the opportunity for lots of exercises as a productive way to release the energy.

Some of the following will be very helpful:

  • Get rubber toys that may be filled with treats for your little fur to chase.
  • You can play fetch by throwing things for your puppy to catch and bring to you.
  • Ensure you include exercises that teach obedience and commands.
  • Provide leadership exercises and give a reward for cooperating.
  • Avoid sitting on the floor with your puppy as it can make it difficult to control.
  • Allow it to have social experiences by playing with kids and other people as well as animals especially in the first few months of its life.

Games You Can Play With Your Puppy

Using Playpens

These provide an enclosed area that you can put your puppy in while you play with it or when you want to keep tabs on it. Using a puppy playpen gives you peace of mind as you can know exactly where your pet is and what it is doing. It also helps your puppy feel secure. Afterward, your puppy can easily sleep off in there. To make it fun for your pet, you can drop different toys in there for it to play with. 

Tug of War

This is one of the favorite games for puppies. It is a great way to train it on what is okay and what is not okay to chew on. You should hold on to its toy and invite it to grab on the toy. They naturally like to do this so it should not be an issue. Ensure that you use only toys that are meant for this and avoid using stuff like socks and other things that can confuse your pet about what is acceptable or what is not.

When it tries to pick whatever is not a toy, you should ensure that the game ends immediately. This helps it to learn that this is not acceptable.

With a tug of war, you can teach your puppy commands such as “drop it” and ‘leave it”. Tug back and forth with it. It is a good idea to praise it or offer a reward when he obeys. It won’t learn all these lessons at once but over time it will and you can start withdrawing the treats until it gets to a point that your canine understands and does not expect a reward for good behavior.

Using Flirt Poles

This is another fun way to play with a puppy. Flirt poles are brilliant and simple. It is a pole or stick with a bungee hanging from one end while the other end has a toy that can move and bounce easily. You can bounce the pole or drag it slowly along the ground and your puppy will start to chase and try to catch it.

Flirt poles are high energy exercises that help keep your dog physically and mentally active. You should occasionally allow your pet to catch or win. You should give it a reward for this. This makes it more fun and engaging since if it does not win, your puppy might lose interest in the game. When playing with a flirt pole, be careful and take it slow because it is a high-impact game that can affect its joints if it gets too hard.


Dogs generally like playing catch and your puppy is no different. Your pet has to run over long distances trying to retrieve what you throw. It is a great exercise that allows your pet to have a lot of fun while promoting its physical and mental health. For puppies, you can start with small and soft toys and avoid hard ones. Encourage it to follow the toy as you throw it in short distances or roll it on the floor and then increase the distance as it catches on to the idea of the game.

Hide and Seek

This is a fun game. Hold your puppy for a little while you play with it then drop and walk away. You can have someone hold your pet while you go on and hide. You then call its name once you are hidden from view and see if it will find you. You may also hide other things such as treats and toys and ask that it finds them. This game helps your puppy to obey the “come” command, helps it to learn its name, and also offers mental and nose stimulation. With it, they can easily be useful in locating and sniffing things out. You can find a whole lot of more games in this article.


Puppies are small and fragile but have loads of energy to burn. You should be careful when playing with them to ensure they do not get hurt or develop negative behavioral patterns. In this article, we have shown you a few things you can do to improve your playtime with your puppies.

As you take note of and apply the tips shared herein, you will be sure to notice marked improvements that you and your pet will enjoy for many years to come.

Pin It on Pinterest