Canine Play Behavior: The Science of Dogs at Play by Mechtild Käufer - Karen Pryor Clicker Training
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Canine Play Behavior: The Science of Dogs at Play by Mechtild Käufer

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Dogs at play—how it works!

Almost all dogs love to play—by themselves, and with other dogs, people, objects, and toys. But what do we really know about play? Is it possible that what looks like play is something else entirely? German author Mechtild Käufer presents findings from scores of researchers worldwide who study why dogs play, the benefits they get from play, and how to recognize the “rules” of play that dogs follow to keep their play behaviors fun and safe. For those wanting to research this subject more, the book is thoroughly referenced. Included are dozens of color photographs to help illustrate the actions of dogs at play.

Great information on:

  • “Self-handicapping” measures that dogs employ to keep things fun for all, even with dogs of differing size and strength
  • Benefits that play brings to puppies, including increased coordination, cooperation, and hunting skills
  • How to be a better observer to prevent play from turning aggressive, including appropriate measures to take to intervene

"I’m delighted that this superb book on dog play is now available in English to canine professionals and dog lovers! Based on the latest scientific understanding of the vital role of natural play in canine development and social interactions, this eminently readable book provides exceptional information as well as practical tips about play between and with dogs. Numerous photographs illustrate the concepts and behaviors beautifully."— Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC and author of The Human Half of Dog Training

"Play, though joyous and fun, is a serious topic. This comprehensive, in-depth examination of play belongs on the shelves of all serious students of canine behavior." — Nicole Wilde, CPDT-KA and author of Help for Your Fearful Dog

"A towering and detailed survey of the extensive literature on play. Beautifully illustrated!" — Jean Donaldson, Founder of the Academy of Dog Trainers and author of Culture Clash

"For those who love to see the joy on a dog’s face when they are truly enjoying play, this is a great book that explains what goes on in a dog’s body and mind that makes social play so important. Anyone involved with dogs should read this book and be sure every dog they encounter is having fun!" — Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA and author of Off Leash Dog Play