Golden retriever laying in grass with tongue out


Having an active playtime is extremely beneficial a dog’s physical health and well being, and believe it or not, even after a full days work, service dogs still have some energy left over to play! It also increases their mental stimulation, which is most important in the years before their “old age”. This can be at different times for different dogs, but it refers to the dog’s later stage of life. Playing with your dog also helps with bonding with you, this is especially important in the service dog’s younger years.

You don’t want to play with them too much, but you do want to schedule it in, I suggest an hour a day during the week and a bit longer on the weekend. I would do two hours, but break it up into two separate hours. Playtime is also a good time to get in some training. Practice with those commands, but do it at the start and use the knowledge of playtime as a motivator, maybe ten or fifteen minutes if you’re playing for an hour. Having time to play not only has physical benefits but emotional as well. Just like people, dogs look forward to their down time, the happier a dog is the more willing they’ll be to work!