Should You Play Chase With Your Dog?

by Tom Ryan
    Chasing is in your dog's natural instincts.

    Chasing is in your dog's natural instincts.

    Hemera Technologies/ Images

    In their active years, dogs of many breeds love to play chase, whether pursuing prey or simply goofing off within the pack. Initiating a game of chase is a way of exercising your dog while encouraging his natural instincts. You have to choose the right time and place to do it, though, because if you engage in a game of chase at an inopportune moment, you could stir up trouble.

    Inappropriate Chasing

    Playing chase with your dog at an inappropriate time or place can confuse him in his training and can attract the wrong kind of attention from other animals. For example, playing a game of chase with your pooch in the company of unfamiliar dogs, such as at the dog park, can encourage aggressive behavior. Playing chase during a training session can undermine your authority, and make it difficult to encourage your dog to come or obey other commands. A game of chase in an area packed with people, or near a street, or with otherwise dangerous elements, is ill-advised.

    Choosing Playtime Wisely

    When you and your dog are alone in a safe space and just enjoying some playtime, chase is a healthy activity for both of you. Make sure that there is nothing potentially dangerous in the area, like other dogs that may misunderstand your game and try to join in. Keep your play sessions and training sessions separate to avoid confusing your dog. As with training, you can keep your chase sessions short; but let your dog expend plenty of energy before you deny him one last round.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/ Images

    About the Author

    Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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