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Playing it Safe: How to Ensure Dogs and Kids Have a Fun and Safe Playtime Together

Dogs and Kids Playing Safely

We all know that children and dogs are a match made in heaven. The joy they bring to each other is immeasurable.

However, as much as we adore seeing them playing together, there are always risks that come with it. Just like children playing with other children, there are rules that must be followed to ensure that everyone is safe and happy.

In this article, we will discuss how to ensure that dogs and kids play safely.

Dog Play Behavior

To understand how to keep dogs and children safe while playing, it’s important to understand the behavior of dogs during play. Play behavior typically includes chasing, mouth wrestling, and barging.

When dogs mouth wrestle, they bite down gently on each other’s faces and necks. This is a natural behavior that helps them learn how to control the power of their jaws.

Chasing and barging are also common behaviors during play.

Rules for Play Between Dogs

When dogs play, they communicate with each other through various signals. A play bow is a way for a dog to signal that they want to play.

Combat and stiff posture are warning signs that something is not right in the game. Misunderstandings can occur between two dogs playing, which can lead to aggressive behavior.

It is important to intervene if you notice any signs of aggression.

Danger Zone

There are certain behaviors that should signal to adults to intervene and stop the play before things get out of hand. One of these behaviors is when the dog rolls on the ground.

This is a signal that they are feeling overwhelmed and need a break. Over-excitement is another behavior to watch for, as it can lead to misunderstandings between the dog and the child.

Dogs have a natural prey drive, which can also be triggered during play. Distress calls from the child or a high-pitched scream can trigger the prey response, and the dog may start to chase the child.

Supervision Required

Supervision is crucial when children and dogs are playing together. Children may not recognize the signals dogs are giving that show they are feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed.

A bite incident can occur if proper supervision is not in place. Warning signs such as stiff posture or combat need to be recognized, and the play should be stopped.

Over-excitement from either the child or the dog also needs to be managed to ensure safe play.

How to Play Safely

There are ways that we can teach our dogs and children to play together safely. Firstly, remain standing up during play instead of getting down on all fours.

Control the game by calling breaks if one of them seems to be getting too riled up. Short play durations are ideal, and breaks in between games should be taken to help the dog calm down.

If you feel that your dog is getting too excited, stop the play and take them away from the child.

The Best Game for Dogs and Children

Not all games are suitable for children and dogs to play together. The best game for dogs and children is retrieving.

Retrieving is good exercise for the dog and can help with gundog training. It also teaches basic training skills and helps the child understand how to handle and control a dog.

When playing retrieving, the child should be given control of the game and be the one to initiate the play.


Teaching a dog to retrieve is a straightforward process but requires basic skills. Start by teaching your dog to hold an object.

Once they have mastered this skill, incorporate retrieving games. A typical retrieving challenge is hiding an object and having the dog search for it.

Hand signals and whistles are also helpful in teaching retrieval. For example, a whistle can signal to the dog the direction they should retrieve the object.

Benefits to Children

Playing retrieving with a dog can have many benefits for children. Firstly, it is a fun activity that they can do with their dog, which deepens the bond between them.

Secondly, it helps children interact with their pets in a meaningful way, which builds their self-confidence and develops responsible pet ownership. Lastly, it teaches children how to handle and control a dog, which is a valuable skill they can utilize in their interactions with other dogs.


In conclusion, children and dogs can play safely together if the necessary rules and precautions are taken. This includes supervised play, the recognition of warning signs, and teaching both the dog and child to play safely.

Retrieving is a great game to play with dogs and children as it teaches basic training skills and builds a deeper bond between them. By incorporating these tips, we can ensure that our children and pets have a happy and safe playtime together.

Other Activities

Labradors are known for their high energy levels and love for physical activities. While retrieving is a fantastic game to play with them, there are other activities that can meet their exercise needs and create an unbreakable bond between them and their owners.

Here are some other activities to consider:

Running with Your Labrador

If you enjoy jogging or running, consider taking your Labrador with you. Running with your dog is an excellent way to bond while also providing them with the exercise they need.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that Labradors have different exercise needs. Younger labs have more energy and can run longer distances than older ones.

Therefore, it’s crucial to start with short runs and gradually increase the distance over time, depending on their fitness level.

Labrador Agility

Labrador agility courses involve structured obstacle courses that require the dog to jump over and crawl under different obstacles. It’s a great exercise for them that requires them to use their brains and bodies.

To participate in agility courses, you must properly train your dog. Training involves building coordination, strength, and balance.

After training, have your lab participate in the obstacle course.

Four Fun Games to Play with a Dog

Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is an exciting game to play with your dog. Start by making your lab sit and stay, then hide somewhere and call their name.

When they find you, give them a reward to cement positive behaviors.


You can also play tag with your dog. To do so, run around the yard, while the dog chases you.

They can not bite you.

Stacking Cups

Other fun games to play with a Labrador include stacking cups. You can start by laying six cups on the ground and placing a treat under one of them.

Allow your dog to find the cup with the treat, and next time, add an extra cup, so they are required to remember which cup had the treat. Red Light, Green Light

Red light, green light is a fun activity that involves stopping and starting when a command is given.

It’s a great game to play with your dog, as it promotes obedience and listening skills.

The Labrador Handbook

The Labrador Handbook is an excellent guidebook for pet lovers and is an essential resource to ensure the proper care of your labrador. It covers every aspect of raising a Labrador, from daily care to health and training.

The book provides valuable insights into how to maintain your Labrador’s health, prevent behavioral issues, and offer exercise and play activities.

Where to Buy the Labrador Handbook

The book is available for purchase on Amazon. Buying the book from Amazon offers the convenience of delivery to your doorstep.

By making a purchase through Amazon, a commission is earned, which helps to offset the cost of running the website. Therefore, purchasing books such as

The Labrador Handbook through Amazon facilitates the creation of more high-quality pet-related content.


Labradors are fun, loving, and energetic dogs that require regular exercise and playtime to thrive. In addition to retrieving, other activities such as running, agility, hide and seek, tag, stacking cups, and red light green light can provide much-needed physical and mental stimulation for Labradors while empowering their human owners with valuable training and bonding opportunities.

The Labrador Handbook is an excellent guidebook for pet owners to ensure the proper care, health, and training of their pets. Buying the book on Amazon not only offers the convenience of online shopping but also helps to support the creation of more educational pet-related content.

In conclusion, engaging your labrador in various physical activities can lead to a stronger bond and promote their overall well-being. Running, agility, and games such as hide and seek, tag and stacking cups are all fun ways to engage with your dog while providing them with much-needed exercise and stimulation.

The Labrador Handbook is an essential guide for dog owners, offering valuable insight into pet care, health, and training. Whether it’s to foster a stronger bond or promote better pet care, there are numerous benefits to pursuing an active lifestyle with your labrador.

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