Regular activity is an important component of promoting a healthy and happy lifestyle for your dog and play should be at the top of that list. Not only does play increase the bond between pet and owner, but mental and physical exercise relieve one of the biggest causes of problem behaviors in dogs - boredom.
What reviewers are saying...
APDT CHRONICLE OF THE DOG
“In 50 Games To Play With Your Dog, Suellen Dainty provides ideas to keep dogs happy through play, including a variety of ways to keep dogs’ minds and bodies active. A great strength of the book is the diversity of activities—games, tricks, outdoor adventures, exercise and agility. It is a quick read, giving anyone inspiration to interact with dogs in fun new ways and still leave them time to do so.
The book maintains a nice emphasis on safety. For example, Dainty cautions against jumping for long-backed dogs such as dachshunds and she recommends consulting with a veterinarian before beginning to run with a dog. She also urges people to have their dog wear a tag with a name and address and stating that the dog is microchipped.
In addition to providing vital information about safety, Dainty is practical enough to mention the importance of consistency. By way of example, she points out that if your dog is not allowed up on the furniture, it is unfair and potentially confusing to conceal treats on the couch during a hide-and-seek game. Consistency has always been a part of dog training, but Dainty acknowledges that new ideas come along all the time in the field. She encourages people to keep up with new trends and techniques which is wonderful, because dog training is in a period of rapid change and improvement, so that keeping up on what’s new offers the possibility of doing even better by our dogs. As part of keeping up with new developments in the field and also to get first-rate coaching, Dainty promotes taking classes and pursuing other opportunities to work with professional trainers.
Dainty is an excellent writer and her experience in that area shows through. As a training expert, she does not shine as much. For example, she advises a hug as reinforcement for a dog who is successful at hide-and-seek, but professional trainers know a hug is more often perceived as a punishment by dogs. Additionally, when discussing how to teach a dog a trick involving backing away, she writes, “Your dog will try to take the treat, but on discovering that he can’t he will back away.” This is not the most likely action by the dog in response to a concealed treat, and I think it shows how the author sometimes assumes a dog will react in certain ways and doesn’t necessarily acknowledge the variety of alternative behaviors that may appear, especially at the early stages of shaping a trick. The descriptions of training are a bit simplistic and lack advice about troubleshooting if your dog does not act as expected. For example, in the section on fetch games, Dainty assumes that dogs are natural retrievers, and offers minimal advice for how to proceed if your dog has other ideas about what to do when an object is thrown—a circumstance I have found very common with many dogs, even individuals of typically retrieving breeds. As a result of these weaknesses, this book may not be overly useful to novices, although experts will know how to work these issues out and will benefit from the wealth of ideas in the book.
Two wonderful features of this book are the well-done (and therefore highly useful) index, and the great photographs. Besides being adorable, the photos illustrate the activities well, thus allowing Dainty’s descriptions to remain brief, and yet still be sufficient as explanations. Together with the previously mentioned excellent qualities of the book, these features combine to create a book that will surely give readers more ideas for ways to have fun with their dogs.”