There are many things that French Bulldogs love to do, and playtime is definitely on top of that list. But not with anyone or anything: they want to play with you! In this article, we collected 4 reasons why we think it’s essential to play with your puppy on a daily basis, and we also share some tips about how you can do it best. We can guarantee that by the end of the article, your view about playtime will change completely and you will never again miss a chance to play with your Frenchie!
Why should you play with your Frenchie?
#1 Excellent form of physical exercise
You have probably heard the old saying that goes: “A tired dog is a good dog.” It actually couldn’t be more accurate and says everything about why it is essential for dogs to have enough playtime and physical exercise in their lives. Wolves, dogs’ ancestors are hunting and moving around in the forest all day, and that need has stayed with our pooches as well.
If you have a Frenchie, it’s probably no news to you that they can be huge energy bombs. Lack of exercise may lead not only to behavioral issues like chewing, but health issues as well, so it’s absolutely necessary that they release that energy in order to stay healthy and happy. As a responsible Frenchie parent, it’s very important that you incorporate playtime into your everyday routine for the sake of your baby’s physical and mental health.
#2 Mental stimulation
Walking your Frenchie is definitely a great form of physical exercise, but is not enough! Walking an hour or a half will not tire your puppy sufficiently, it is also essential to challenge their mind and wear them out mentally as well. You will find no better way for that than playing some fun games together!
You can play with your baby with or without a toy, it really depends on what your Frenchie prefers. Your options are basically endless and can only be limited by your imagination! Don’t settle for throwing a ball for your puppy as many of them don’t even like that. Hide and seek, treasure hunt, tug of war are just a couple of ideas that you could try. We have previously collected some fun games to train your Frenchie as well as some great outdoor activities that will develop your puppy’s skills.
#3 Learning by playing
We like to call our Frenchies fur babies and there’s a very simple reason for that: they truly are like children! They love playing, especially learning by playing, and that starts early on while they are with their littermates at just a few weeks old. This need for playtime never goes away and it’s your responsibility as their parent to satisfy that need.
You may have never thought about it this way, but playtime actually teaches a lot to your puppy. For example, they will learn how hard they can bite on your hand so that it doesn’t hurt you. They also learn how to interact with other dogs and what their role is in the hierarchy of the pack. Most importantly, playing with your baby is one of the best ways of praising, so if your puppy has been an especially good boy or girl, that calls for some extra playtime!
#4 Forming a stronger bond with your Frenchie
We saved the best and most important reason for last. Playtime with your pup will take your bond and relationship to a whole new level that nothing can replace! If you play with your Frenchie on a daily basis, they will have a strong affection for you. Most importantly, if your puppy knows that you’re a cool parent and take the time every day to play with them, they won’t feel the need to destroy your house while you’re away from home. They will be patiently waiting for you to get back and spend some quality time together, when you’re paying attention to them and only them.
How should you play with your Frenchie?
As the pack leader, you should always be the one who initiates playtime and ends it even when you’re in the middle of a game. It’s very important that your Frenchie is aware of the different roles in the family or the ‘pack’; they should know that you and your family members are always above them in the hierarchy. So, if your puppy is bringing the ball or is jumping at you with the clear intention to play, you should simply ignore them and only start playing when they have calmed down. By determining when playtime starts and ends, you secure your status as the leader of the pack, read our article about why that is important.
When you’re at a dog park, you can observe how your puppy interacts and plays with other dogs, and you should try to imitate that at home. We know it sounds funny, but it’s actually the best way of playing without a toy! Run away from your pup and let them catch you, you can even let them wrestle you. You could also try the opposite, run after them playfully and try to catch them, they will love it! The more body contact you have the better, as it will make your bond stronger while you’re both having a great time! Using a rope to play tug of war is a good idea too: let them try taking it away from you by pulling it.
There are two important rules that you should follow when playing; if you notice any of these signs you should end playtime immediately. One is when your Frenchie is growling at you, and the other is when they bite on your hand so much it hurts. That’s something that you shouldn’t put up with: as soon as playtime becomes painful, end it immediately with a firm and sudden move. By doing so, you’ll teach your baby what is acceptable for you and what’s not.
Hopefully it has by now become clear why playtime is essential in the life of your puppy and yours as well. To gain even more insight, can also think about it from the perspective of your baby: until you don’t know how to play with them properly, they will see you as a dull person who just provides food and takes them for a walk. When you’re at a dog park where your puppy is among other dogs playing and you call them by their name, they will turn a deaf ear to your commands, simply because you’re not as interesting as all those exciting things they see in the park or on the street.
Considering all that, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to never skip a day playing with your Frenchie! You’ll quickly see what a difference it makes: your bond will get stronger and your puppy will become noticeably more obedient as you’ll secure your position in the family as the pack leader.
If you’d like to learn more about the topic, join our Facebook group called TomKings Frenchie Family to read our Frenchie parents’ experiences.
The article is based on the expert knowledge of the TomKings Puppies team who have been breeding French Bulldogs for 10 years on their farm. All the pictures in the post belong to them and their customers, and show puppies from their breed. Check their available French Bulldog puppies, or if you have any questions or comments let us know below the article.