In pup play, it can be really hard to find the line between the human and the pup. Just like how every person is different, every pup has their own traits and quirks, and you’ll need to learn what those are for your pup. But there are some things that almost all pups will enjoy, so have fun — with their consent, of course!

  1. Pet them regularly. You don’t even need to have a reason. That they’re there is good enough.
  2. Give them a treat. When they’ve been good. Or when you need to cheer them up. Or when you need cheering up.
  3. Help them find their spot. It’s the place in the house that’s their place. It’s where they go to rest if they’re tired, to wait if they’re bored, and to hide if they’re scared. It could be anywhere — a corner, under a table, inside a closet.
  4. Give them a belly rub. Lots and lots of belly rubs.
  5. Clear out a space with plenty of direct sunlight and have them nap in it.
  6. Place some soft pillows and blankets under your desk, so they can curl up by your feet as you work.
  7. Give them a quick scritch as you walk past. And maybe another one. And another. And one more.
  8. Put their food in a dog bowl, and watch with delight as they get all messy while trying to eat it. Have them eat meals on the floor as you sit at the table.
  9. Keep their water bowl always full and fresh, so they’re well-hydrated and happy.
  10. Tell them they’re a good boy/girl/pup. Say it when they make you proud. Or when they accomplish something really hard for them. Or just because they are so good.
  11. Hand them random objects and tell them to hold it in their mouths. Watch as they try with the more cumbersome things.
  12. Announce it’s nap time, and have them take a nap — no matter what’s going on.
  13. Let them choose where to sleep at night. On the floor, at the foot of the bed, or all snuggled up with you. They’ll choose what makes them happiest.
  14. Leave them something that smells like you, like a shirt, if you’re going to be away for a while. It’ll help them stay calm as they start missing you terribly.
  15. Keep the door open just a little bit when you go to another room, so they can follow you there, too.
  16. Put a name tag on their collar. Write your contact info on the back, so they’ll always be able to find you if they get lost.
  17. Listen to their many, many, many noises. Barks, growls, whines. They all mean something different, so take the time to learn them.
  18. Tell them when you’re sad, angry, or upset. Even if it’s not about them. Especially when it’s not about them. They can sense something’s off and will get worried that you don’t like them anymore.
  19. Yank their leash occasionally, just enough for the leash to be tight. It reminds them you’re there, you care about them, and they can always follow the leash to find you again.
  20. Finally: Accept their love and affection. As a pup, everything in their world is about you. Respect the scale of that commitment, and they’ll be your loyal companion forever.

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