How to hold a successful puppy playdate

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By Susan Hoffman
From Exceptional Canine

Are you a “helicopter mom” who hovers over your , or is your parenting style more relaxed? When it comes to puppy’s first playdate, a little bit of both is the right approach. Playing comes naturally to puppies, but you have a critical role in making sure his first playdate goes well.

First, pick the right place. “Find a safe, fenced on private property,” advises , a certified professional dog trainer and the owner of Pupstart Family Dog Training in Central Iowa. Next, “Allow the puppies to do the ‘Dance of the Leash,’ letting them move toward or away and sniff each other nose to rear, without interference from a taut leash,” says Fedman. “If both puppies assume the pounce position after a few seconds, they’re ready to play and you can remove the leash to let them interact.”

Puppies like to mock-fight in doggie games such as:

–“I chase you, then you chase me,” with butts tucked
–Jaw wrestling or gently biting each other on the muzzle, ears and neck
–Play barking and growling
–Alternating who’s on top while wrestling and biting
–Chasing and nipping at each other’s legs, tails and ears

You should step in and put distance between your puppies if:

–Either puppy stiffens or you hear deep belly growls
–One puppy repeatedly holds the other on its back
–Either puppy bites too

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