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Play With Your Dog


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What’s It About?

Pat Miller explores the role and benefits of play between you and your dog – and between dogs. Play behaviors have important learning and health benefits that help dogs become well-adjusted members of both their canine and human families. Through play your dog learns dog-to-dog social graces and is mentally and physically stimulated. Play can be a great training tool, helping to build the relationship between you and your dog. And while play comes naturally to most dogs, there are many who need to be encouraged to discover their “inner puppy.” Pat includes dozens of game ideas collected from trainers all over the country you can try out with your dog(s).

About the Author

Pat Miller CPDT, CDBC, is at the forefront of the force-free, positive dog training phenomenon in the US. She is a Past President of, APDT, the world’s largest professional group of dog trainers, operates her own training facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, and is a 20-year veteran of humane work. Pat is a popular columnist for Whole Dog Journal, Your Dog, and Popular Dogs and is the author of Positive Perspectives 2 and The Power of Positive Dog Training.

 Published 2008 Dogwise Publishing


“…In Play With Your Dog, Pat Miller shares her observation that almost every dog-human interaction is an opportunity to have fun while building a stronger relationship. Rich with photos of dogs at play (by themselves and with each other, children, and adults), this book sets the stage for playtime with lively descriptions of a wide variety of dog play styles, including “body slammers,” “chasers,” and “wrestlers,” personalities I recognize in neighborhood dogs. Having identified you dog’s style, you’re well positioned to match compatible playmates or introduce a new dog to you family pack. For those nervous about loud and energetic play, including growling, snarling, and biting, Miller demystifies mock aggression and explains for to tone down exuberant play before it escalates. She briefly samples dozens of play opportunities that allow you to subtly reinforce obedience commands, which will help ensure that your dog remains a welcomed participant in family and public outings. Devoting and entire chapter to play between children and their dogs, Miller emphasizes ways that are safe and fun for all. (The chapter on “Rehabilitating the Play Deprived Dog will come in handy at my house for Sport, our senior rescue, who is still learning how to play.) So, when the weather outside is frightful, take your favorite doggie cookbook off the shelf, whip up some tasty training morsels and surprise your best friend with your special attention, yummy treats, and great new games inspired by this creative and experienced author.” Jo Haraf

“Collectively, dog owners spend millions of dollars on toys that their dogs ignore. Instead, the dogs repurpose clothing and furniture into playthings, and nurture bad habits to alleviate boredom and burn excess energy. In Play With Your Dog, Pat Miller, certified professional dog trainer and author, explains the importance of play in the human-canine relationship. Although it sounds counterintuitive, Miller informs us that play is serious business. It’s crucial to a puppy’s mental and physical development, and dogs and humans are among the dew species that retain a lifelong desire to play.

Miller’s description of canine recreation is enhanced by an inventory of breed-specific preferences. For example, she notes that herding breeds…often prefer to be cheerleaders, remaining on the sidelines to encourage playing dogs with excite barking…Frustrated owners with problem dogs will appreciate Miller’s ideas on incorporating play into training and behavior modification… The book is also filled with suggestions to encourage a dog’s natural love for running, chasing, and tugging on toys. Miller does her part to supply plenty of valid advice, but this book raises a troubling question: Why do we need reminders or instructions on how to play with our dogs? Perhaps the book is a useful tool for owners who did not grow up with dogs and thus don’t instinctively know how to provide stimulating, energy-burning play for their dogs.” Amy Fernandez



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