Paws Then Play

Paws, then play

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In an ideal world, every dog would spend time during the puppy stages in play.  They would play with other puppies, play and learn from mature dogs as well as spend time playing with humans.  They would have lots of toys to play with and learn different games. 

However, our world is not ideal.

First time foster parents are sometimes shocked that their newly rescued dog has no interest in play, or just looks at toys as foreign objects. 

And that is when we remind the foster parents that their newly rescued dog has had little opportunity to spend time on play.  Each rescue dog arrives with his/her own story.  The fortunate ones arrive healthy, happy and well adjusted.  Others arrive hurting and scared.   The one aspect they have in common is that most of their efforts prior to rescue have been spent on survival.  When you are searching for food and shelter, extra energy is not expended on play. 

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Some of these rescue dogs have had limited positive human contact and have never lived in a home.  They are not familiar with stairs, vacuum cleaners or dishwashers.  They have no frame of reference of what is "normal" in a domestic setting. 

With the use of positive, gentle and kind training, rescue dogs get used to all of these new household goings on.  With the same approach, they will get used to the presence and encouragement for play. 

When they reach for a toy, when they give you a play bow or when they wag their tail in joy for the first time - there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the weight of survival lift off the shoulders of a rescue dog. 

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Written by hart at 00:00

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