Working when your dog wants to play.

Eiramam asks: I’ve got this silly dog that wants to play constantly. How do I get my work done?

Thanks Eiramam –

Why in the world would you want to work when your dog wants to play?  Is your work that great?

Ah, well, I have to say, I do understand.  I’ve been on both sides of this one.  Sometimes I’ve wanted to play and Handsome is all obsessed with working at his desk or talking on the phone or something, and we both get very frustrated.  And I’ve also been around little puppies that want to play ALL the time, and I have other things I have to do, like sniff to see where squirrels have been or listen to hear if anyone interesting is walking up the street.  And I get really annoyed and end up nipping them on the bottom… and still they keep coming back, just like I did when I was a puppy!

So what can I advise?  Three things:

First of all, sometimes your dog is smarter than you.  That pup knows that you need to take breaks from work, and connect to what’s really great in life, much of which can be found in a good game of fetch or tug-of-war.  So listen.  And play.

But second, sometimes the dog isn’t just thinking about you, but about how much he or she needs to play.  Maybe he’s bored, or she just needs to burn off some energy.  Well, if that’s the case, make sure you have ways to fill that need.  Do you have enough chew toys around?  Is there a way the dog can get some good outdoor time to sniff and run and bark and chase?  Sometimes we actually like to do those things alone, but we don’t know how to make it happen.

And third?  As much as we hate it, sometimes we dogs just can’t control our playful needs ourselves, and we just have to be told no, and maybe be put in another room, or even in a crate.  This is only as a last resort, though.  Because if we’re not able to be near you, we can’t do what we love most, which is to protect you, and make your life better!

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