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Play Development – What Gets Your Dog On The Bench

The topic today is play development. What gets your dog on the bench? So I had the privilege of getting to train and play with a reasonably young Doberman Pincher. I’d say the dog was about nine months of age, and I was impressed with not only him but his young 20-year-old owner. She just did a remarkable job during the training session. But one of the problems that she was trying to address was how rough the dog is when she’s trying to play with him. And so I wanted to help her to understand how to play well.

Just A Touch

So you all are probably hearing me talk quite a bit about playing and letting your dog win and things like that. Well, that is part of play development, but what do you do when the dog is winning in a way that’s causing their teeth to make contact with your skin? I believe with pet dogs that anytime that we are playing with them and they touch us with their teeth, not just snip, not bite, just the mere fact of touch with the tooth, that we should let the dog know that that’s going to stop the game.

So if you’re new to playing with your dog, the first thing you should do is if your dog touches you with their tooth while you’re playing with them, you should immediately stop the game. I want to be very clear here. This does not mean put your dog in a crate or another room, and you’re just merely going to stop moving the object. So that way, it is no longer fun. At a minimum, that’s the first thing that you should do.


Now, if you notice, the title today is what gets your dog on the bench. When I play with dogs, we’re playing right next to one of the elevated beds that I like to train on because that serves as the bench. So if I’m playing with the dog and one of the things that they do is, like I said, touch me with their tooth, this will get the dog benched.

It’s going to be a way for me to interrupt the game and put the dog on to their place stay, and then I’m going to leave them there at probably 5 seconds, maybe 10 seconds. But it’s not a time question. I’m going to leave them there until they’re back in control of themselves, that I’m going to invite the dog back into the play. And I’m hoping that the mere act of interrupting the game and halting it will serve as a form of punishment that will get the dog to bite me less.


Yes, I said that dirty word. Punishment. Yes, punishment is a good thing when creating boundaries; don’t use it to abuse your dog. Ending the game and separating your dog from it, in my opinion, is a great way to administer punishment, to let your dog know. Hey, I don’t appreciate you touching me with your teeth. So if you start to do this, along with some of the other things that I’ve suggested, including allowing your dog to win, you will see how the play will enhance your relationship with your dog.

Now, I want to mention that some other things will get your dog put on the bench. So sometimes, when I’m playing with a dog and if they’re playing particularly well, I’ll let them win the object, and I’ll run them around in a couple of victory laps, and then I’ll put them on the bed. They get placed on the bench to enjoy the object for a few moments before I invite them back into the game.

If you think about it, if any of you are watch football, you’ll notice that when a defensive player intercepts the ball from an offensive player, where do they go, they go to the bench. Then they are running around and having a celebration.

I hope this was helpful and you learned a bit about play development. Remember, you can always visit my YouTube Channel for more tips like this or find them right here on my website

Happy Training!

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