Bowing, chasing, bouncy movements, play falling, self-handicapping, and friendly wrestling; These are all examples of healthy social play for dogs! Have you ever been curious about the benefits of your dog socializing with other dogs at Doggy Day Camp? We did a little research and found these three benefits of friendly social play for dogs:
1. Getting Along
Much like children playing on a team, social play for dogs can teach them how to behave with others and play fairly. Marc Bekoff, a Professor at the University of Colorado says, “play is not only fun. It’s useful behavior. And studies of play indicate that animals actively cultivate a sense of fairness and cooperation by playing” (source 3).
2. Health and Exercise
According to Vet Street, “between 20-40% of all dogs seen by veterinarians in the United States are considered overweight” (source 5). This could be due to a lack of exercise. When your dog is socializing with other dogs, they are likely running around, playing, chasing and generally being active. Not only does a lack of exercise sometimes result in an overweight dog, but it may also exhibit itself in the form of hyperactivity, barking, and destructive behavior at home (source 5).
3. Having Fun
Dogs benefit from playing with other dogs and having a good time. Whether it’s a friendly wrestling match or a chasing game of tag, it’s important for your dog to have fun when interacting with other dogs. Much like humans, when a dog happily plays, positive changes happen in their brain: oxytocin, prolactin, beta-phenylethylamine, and dopamine are released (source 4). This means a playing dog is a happy dog!
Although it is good to encourage your dog to interact with other dogs, it is important that they do it on their terms when they feel ready. Forcing socialization can frighten your dog and make them aggressive (source 6). If your dog needs help with socialization, consider training with one of our Best Friends certified dog training experts.
All in all, a dog who safely chases and plays with other dogs is a happy, healthy dog. A happy, healthy dog means a happy owner. Book your dog’s socialization time and send them back to school at Best Friends Doggy Day Camp, today!
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