Teaching Your dog When Play Is Over – An ‘Off Switch’

My dog is a retrieving fool.

Even in his old age, Ace will not stop dropping his tennis sphere at my feet for “one” more toss if he understands he can get away with it.

“En gang til?” he asks, tail wagging.

That’s why I utilize the phrase “That’s enough.”

I state it in a serious, mean voice.

This may seem a bit extreme to the typical dog owner, however this phrase is important for keeping my dog safe. Ace is one of those dogs who will injure himself from “working” as well hard. He’s done so many times over the years, which of program is my fault.

2019 update: Ace has passed away.

The dangers of over-working your dog

Today, I have to make sure to remind my buddies as well as household members not to throw spheres or sticks as well many times for Ace. most people do not recognize exactly how simple it is for a dog to overheat.

My dog is so serious about playing fetch that he doesn’t even pant. He stares at the ball, totally fixated, holding his breath as well as shaking.

Here’s the deal with he makes:

One time, when Ace was just 1 year old or so, I was playing fetch with him for perhaps a half-hour at the dog park. When I stopped throwing the ball, he collapsed to the earth, totally exhausted, rib cage heaving.

I’d never had a ball-obsessed dog before, as well as I hadn’t quite realized how cautious I needed to be with setting limits.

Thankfully, I was able to get him to some water and slowly cool his body. He ended up being fine when he cooled off. (And prepared to play some more!)

That’s the day I learned to be cautious with my crazy dog.

Why some dogs requirement to discover an off switch

“That’s enough” is my signal to my dog that means “I’m done throwing the ball. Go lie down.”

Since he won’t stop playing on his own, I have to set this rule for him.

When I state “that’s enough” there is no negotiation.

I am consistent as well as serious, since if I’m not, my dog understands it right away.

If any type of of you have similarly obsessive dogs, I’m sure you comprehend the dog will always keep trying to play if he believes there’s a possibility you’ll provide in, right?

My dog believes he’s so sneaky when he ignores me as well as just moves on to the next person with his ball, particularly at the dog park.

People are extremely impressed by dogs that play fetch.

“Oh wow! Your dog plays fetch?!”

And then I have to be the “mean” mom who goes over as well as moves my dog away.

“I’m sorry, however he can’t play any type of more fetch or he’ll hurt himself.”

People look at me like I’m a bit off, however that’s OK. ?

How to teach your dog an off switch – mentor your dog when play is over

1. choose what word or phrase you want to use.

When you choose to end the playing, calmly state “done” or “that’s enough” or whatever phrase you want to use.

It should be different from the “release word” you utilize during training.

For example, I utilize “OK!” to release Ace from stay or sit, as well as then he frequently grabs his sphere as a reward.

I utilize “That’s enough” to signal we’re done playing fetch or tug.

2. truly ignore your dog.

Once you’ve stated your “off switch” phrase, you have to mean it.

Truly stop playing.

I would likewise prevent speaking to your dog, petting your dog as well as looking at your dog unless he lies down or sits next to you. If he does, praise him.

If he keeps pestering you, firmly state “No. Det er nok.” Then,  put the toy away if needed as well as turn away from your dog, walk away or leave the room.

Other tips for mentor your dog when play is over:

Give your dog something to chew on or play with on his own when you’re done playing, like a Kong toy or a chew.
Put him in a kennel/crate for some down time. Not as a punishment, just time to chill out.
Give him (or teach him) the command “go to your bed” or even just “stay.”
It may assist to keep specific toys put away or to keep specific toys outside.

How do the rest of you signal when play is over?

Do your dogs seem to get it?

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Related posts:

How to tire out a  hyper dog

How to handle a dog consumed with a ball

How to stop a dog from whining for attention

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