The very first minute Gracie and I met, it wasn't play at first site. When Mum was looking to add to our pack and find me a playmate, we met a lot of pups.
But after being attacked by several dogs about 5 months earlier, I wasn't in the mood for some of the pups we met. So we kept looking to find just the right bud for me and for our pack.
When I first met Grace, I gave her a little fake snap/bark to show her who's boss.
Growing up in a pack of wild dogs, Gracie was (and still is) very keen to dog communication. She had to be to survive. Consequently, Mum and I both have learned a lot about dog relationships and communication from watching how Gracie handles herself with other pups. I still have my moments, but because of Gracie (and with Mum's help of course), I am getting better and better with all kinds of pups, all the time, even in a highly charged environment like an agility trial.
The best part is Gracie took my little initial 'tiff' in stride. So we took her home to live with us, and we've been the best of friends ever since.
Play is an important part of our life. Every single day, we play together in the backyard, and we spend time individually just playing with Mum. We play bow each other, Mum included, and have a great time, just spending a little quality time together.
So when we saw Patricia's McConnell's recent posts on her blog about dog play and her recap of the Association of Pet Dog Trainer's recent symposium, with an entire day of seminars devoted to play, we had to share it with you.
For more about dog play, check out Tricia's new book Play Together, Stay Together
"Play is fun, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just goofy or frivolous. Play is powerful stuff, and it has a profound influence on your relationship with your dog. This engagingly written booklet shows how play can enhance your relationship with your dog, improve your dog’s responsiveness, and provide your dog with the mental and physical exercise he or she needs."