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Pia Silvani, host of Teacher's Pet on Pet Life Radio

Pia Silvani
Teacher, Trainer & Author
St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center

Play and Behavior Problems

Karen London........

Karen London

Play is an entire category of behavior that is underutilized in treating behavior problems. Play can be incorporated into treatment plans for many types of dog behavioral issues. Because so many types of behavior problems are arousal-based, at least in part, the energetic nature of play can be an effective way to redirect dogs’ behavior into more appropriate channels. Another reason that play can often be so effective at treating behavior problems is that play does more than change a dog’s behavior. Play can actually change dogs’ emotions.

Many behavior problems have an emotional component, so changing the dogs’ emotions through play treats the cause of the issue, not just the effects of it. When play is part of a treatment plan, client compliance is generally better, with the result that better progress is made in improving the problem behavior. Using play to treat behavior problems makes it fun for both people and dogs, and that is a large part of why it is so effective.

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