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How do you prevent your puppy from playing with you when it's not time to play? My pup will come to me with a toy in his mouth, crouch down and growl obviously wanting to play. He will do anything he can to engage me in play. He will start running around the house all crazy, jump on the furniture and follow me around playfully if I'm moving around the house. How do I calm him down and have him understand that it's not play time? If I move toward him or talk to him, he thinks I'm playing and continues to try to engage me in play.

Is there a way to have him play when it's appropriate and stop playing when it's time to calm down?

Thanks!
 

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Do you play with him enough? Puppies differ from individual to individual and some need to burn more energy than others. If you do have enough play time sessions, you can put him in his crate or play pen for some quiet time. They usually fall asleep after a play and a potty, sometimes they get silly and try to push themselves too much so you kinda have to help them take a nap. Think of it as a cranky and restless toddler, you know they're tired but they keep trying to run around and play. You can also just ignore him too and not give in, he'll give up and venture somewhere else. It's also easier if you have a "cue" for play time and a "cue" for end of play time like "enough". That you can teach him there is a time to play and a time to not play and "enough" means "No more, I'm not going to play with you". You can also give him interactive toys and food toys to get his attention off of you, and I'm sure he would enjoy a good chew toy. It'll take some time, but just keep consistent.
 

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You can encourage a different behavior as a way of asking to play. When you see him lying down calmly, get all excited and say "Let's play!!", grab a toy and start playing with him. When you are done say "all done!" to signal the end of play. In addition to this, don't play with him when he initiates. If you are consistent then he will eventually figure out that being calm leads to playing and following you around with a toy does not.
 

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I just assume he's right and play with him for a bit.

Pre-emtively, if I know I'm going to need to get something done, like cook dinner, I make sure I take him out and play hard with him for a while to tire him out so I can get what I need done. I would never assume I can come home from work and do anything without the puppy getting a good workout first!
 

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I thought that playing was what puppies do. I never knew I was supposed to teach Odin when not to play. I can't even vacuum without playing with Odin. I have a toy with a dog attached to it in one hand and am pushing the vacuum with the other. I can't even sit through a 2 hour movie without constant interruption sometimes. I always thought he would outgrow it. I learn something new everday.
 
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