Dangerous Games for Puppies: Why You Shouldn't Play Chase With A Young Puppy!

Many games for puppies teach control and discipline; however, playing chase outdoors with a young puppy should be avoided until he's a little older. It might seem fun, but it could be dangerous.

It's okay to play chase with your puppy indoors, but I recommend you wait to play chasing games in the park until your puppy is better trained and has mastered the recall command - read on to find out why.

What's Wrong With Playing Chase Games With Puppies?

Puppies love you to chase them; let's face it, it can be a lot of fun!

However, outdoor chase games are unsuitable for puppies, and it's best if you avoid them until your pup is a little older and better trained.

You should train your puppy to the level where he returns to you the minute you call his name before you indulge in chasing games; your puppy must have mastered the recall command. If not, it may be a recipe for disaster!

Golden cocker puppy running through a field towards the camera. His ears are behind him, and his tongue is showing.Chase me! Chase me!

5 Good Reasons Why You Shouldn't Chase Your Puppy

Here are five sound reasons why you should avoid chasing games with your puppy:

  • You're never going to be able to catch him. A young puppy will run faster and be more energetic than the best of us! You'd need to be Mo Farrow to catch up with him.

  • If you chase your puppy, he will likely become too excited and runs wild, which can be dangerous. Your puppy may be so excited that he runs blindly onto a busy road and in front of fast-moving traffic. It doesn't bear thinking about!

  • Once your puppy is aware of his ability to out-wit you (read outrun you!), it may increase his perceived dominance; he may get too big for his boots! You could end up with a boisterous, uncontrolled puppy.

  • Your cocker spaniel will almost always initiate chasing games; he will try to get you to chase him because it's so much fun. However, if you oblige and chase your puppy, you will be pandering to your puppy's attention-seeking antics, which is inadvisable.

  • Taking notice of attention-seeking behaviour is not good news because when puppies learn that they can get you to do something, they don't stop there!

In the interest of safety, you should always control your puppy and never let him tempt you into playing chase.

Although I'm not keen on chasing after puppies, I'm okay with puppies chasing their owner.

Teaching your puppy to chase you will satisfy your pup's natural prey drive. Reward him generously when he 'catches' you; this will teach him that good things happen to him when HE comes to YOU and will help you reinforce the Recall command.

Does Your Puppy Tease You To Play Chase?

Watch your puppy playing for a little while and note his behaviour.

Does he pick up a toy or something that belongs to you and run away with it?

Does he wait until you get near him before he picks it up and runs away again? If he does, your puppy wants to play and is trying to get you to chase him.

Let's look at an example and analyse his actions, shall we?

  • Your puppy picks up your slipper and refuses to give it to you.
  • He runs away with the 'spoils' and refuses to return to you.
  • You chase him in a bid to get your slipper back.

By taking your slipper, your puppy is trying to initiate a chase game. If he regularly gets away with it, your pup will learn that he is allowed to ignore your command(s) and may stop listening to you; he may not do what you ask him to in the future.

If your Cocker learns that he can manipulate you into playing puppy chase games with him or that he can outsmart you, you may be in for a bumpy ride!

If left unchecked, behaviours like these will only escalate and may cause behavioural problems later.

Don't Play Chase Games For Puppies!

If your puppy gets loose and runs away, you mustn't chase him because you may never catch him or get him to come back to you.

If you chase after your puppy, he will think it's a game and will run away each time you get close.

At the very worst, you may chase him into oncoming traffic!

Puppy games is on this little fella's mind - come on, chase me!Come on Mum, Chase Me!

If your puppy does manage to get free, stay calm, and call his name. Don't shout; keep your voice light and appealing.

When he looks back at you, turn immediately and run in the opposite direction, calling his name as you run. This may feel like the last thing you'd want to do as you watch your Cocker Spaniel puppy racing away from you, especially down a busy main road!

Keep calling him to you while you run in the opposite direction. It doesn't matter what you look or sound like!

Your puppy will think it's part of the game; he will turn around and start chasing you. You can slow your pace slightly and let him catch up to you.

Trust me, I've been in this exact situation, and it works!

A situation like this should be the only time you allow your puppy to 'chase' you. Puppies allowed to chase people can grow to be boisterous, if not dangerous, adult dogs.

I'm not saying you should never play chase puppy games with your Cocker Spaniel; I'm just suggesting you hold off until your puppy is fully trained.

Then you can relax the 'no chase' rules a little; however, you must always initiate and end the chasing puppy play; your puppy should play by your rules.

There are many safe games for puppies, but chase isn't one of them!

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Photo Credits: Chase Games for Puppies
Alexsander at Fotolia (https://stock.adobe.com/fr/images/crazy-cocker-spaniel/408771)
2. Lowjumpingfrog at Flickr.com - https://www.flickr.com/photos/88362973@N00/3736883572