Sasha and Me

How To Play With Your Dog

Has your hound been hankering for some play time? If there is one thing which unites just about every dog; from the smallest pooch to the largest behemoth, playtime is often when your dog is at their happiest. Play time is important for your dog. It can help them learn new skills, burn mental energy and bond with you.

Dogs are highly social animals. As a puppy, one of the ways dogs learn about the world around them, build relationships with other dogs and humans alike and learn how to interact and communicate is through play. Playing with your dog regularly also teaches you about your dog’s personality. Playing together, you’ll gain a much better understanding of what your dog likes and dislikes. At the same time you will develop a much closer bond together.

Boredom can be a problem for dogs, more so if they are regularly left alone for longer periods of time. Providing mental stimulation for your dog can help to stave off boredom, provide exercise and give your dog an outlet for their natural instincts to run, to chase and to catch. Playing with your dog can help to ensure they don’t develop inappropriate behavior s, directing them in a constructive way.

So what do dogs like to play?

It all depends on your pooch’s personality. A good way to see is to watch what your dog does when they’re excited. Do they prefer to chase, pounce on or grab at things. Try experimenting with a few different dog toys which mimic your pet’s natural play behaviour whilst in different settings (indoors and outdoors).

The basic rules for playing with your dog

  • Make sure you can either take the toy away from the dog or that they know the leave/ drop command.
  • Don’t encourage your dog to chase children as, though exciting for your dog, this can get out of control.
  • If your dog’s breed is prone to joint problems in later life, don’t encourage them to jump. This can exacerbate those problems.
  • Play everyday for short sessions. Dogs can have short attention spans so little and often is a good rule.
  • Be animated, excited and heap lots of praise on your dog.
  • Games can reinforce and reward good behaviour. Only start playing when your dog is calm, attentive and doing something you want them to do.
  • Variety is the spice of life. Try a different game, location or toy for each play session to keep your dog interested.
  • Never force a dog to play, it should always be fun for them.
  • Have fun, laugh and enjoy time with your furry friend.

What games can you play with your dog?

Tug of war

Some dog trainers and experts discourage playing tug of war, whilst others encourage it. The worry is that it could encourage your dog to behave in a more dominant manor. However, if you are the one setting the game, you can set the rules. Encourage your dog to a toy or old towel/ t shirt etc, by saying “take it” whilst moving the item towards your dog. When they have a good hold of it, keep their attention by shaking the toy or fabric about. Stop every so often with the command “leave”, used just once. Put your hands by your side , keep still and don’t speak. Eventually your dog will get the idea and release their grip. Now pause and then resume the game again. If your dog is particularly large or strong, grip their collar and then let go of the toy. This can reduce competition for the toy and calm them back down. Your dog will start to learn when play begins and ends, and that it is set by you, finishing when you touch their collar or put your hands to your sides. To reinforce your control, occasionally stop and start the game. If they become too excited or act in a dominating way, such as putting paws on your or snatching the item without your command, go still and silent to signal that is not part of the game. Make sure you only use toys which are suitable and have no small parts which could be swallowed by your dog.

Retrieve and chase games

Start by selecting a toy which is not small enough to swallow. Most dogs will have a natural instinct to chase things, but may not have learned to bring it back to you. To teach this, start by teaching them to hold the toy. Sit your dog next to you and let them pick up the toy, when they do, heap praise on them in an excited pitch. If they give it to you, reward your dog with more praise or a treat. Build up to moving away from the dog as they pick up the toy so that they have to come to you to get the treat. Once they start enjoying this, you can gradually add in throwing the toy and sending them to fetch it. If you keep repeating this, they should realise that they get a treat or praise for bringing the toy to you. 

Hide and seek

This is a great game for terrier breeds and we’ll make use of their powerful scent drive. You can encourage your dog to use wind scenting (sniffing you out from the air) and tracking (sniffing along the ground). You can try this indoors or outside. With a friend, get them to stay with the dog whilst you hide behind a sofa, door or in another room. Call them to you. When your dog finds you reward them with praise and a treat. It might need you to call them a few times when you first play this game. If you are playing this outside make sure you are in an area which is safe for your dog and that they are supervised when you are hiding with a friend or relative with them.

Searching

Your pet pooch probably won’t have had to hunt for their dinner today. However you can make use of these excellent skills to find a favourite toy, or even make one for this game. Take a empty loo roll tube and fold over one end. Pop your dog’s favourite treat inside, the more pungent the better this works. Start by ensuring your dog is keen to play with the dog toy (see our range of dog toys). Whilst your dog is interested and watching, hide the toy behind some furniture, under a cushion or when outside in some longer grass (make sure you’ve checked the area is safe for dogs). Use a high pitch and excited voice to encourage your dog to find the toy. Try saying phrases like “where is it?”. As your dog starts to understand the game you can make it harder by not letting your dog see where you have hidden the toy. If you can’t get your dog interested in toys, play the same game by hiding little bits of food such as chicken or a dog treat.

Pouncing

Pouncing games also simulate catching prey. Dog’s will often play such games by themselves. The dog will throw their toy in the air and then pouncing on it as it lands. If they are playing with a squeaky toy, they’ll often thrash it about till they get the squeak, so make sure you supervise any play.

Remember, whether you are playing with or training your furry friend, it should always be fun for both of you. Keep sessions short and sweet and always leave your dog wanting more. You can use games and play time to reward good behaviour. We’ve got some great dog toys for small and large dogs.

Tune in next time for more hints and tips for how to look after your dogs and cats. For practical advice, tips and product news, sign up for our newsletter here .

 

Time For A Cat Nap

Is there anything cuter than a litter of kittens sleeping in a basket? Cat’s are at their most adorable when taking a nap, whether on your lap, your bed or in their own little cat bed. That’s pretty good as the average moggie can spend as much as eighteen hours a day cat napping. Cats are at their best around dawn and dusk, so between those times they’ll spend a lot of time sleeping. Sleep is important for your cat as it helps your cat to maintain their health and recharge their energy for the next round of stalking, running, punching and climbing.

Thought you might not think it when she’s snuggled up, your cat still has the same psychology and needs of a big cat predator such as a lion hardwired into them. We all know that there’s nothing more that they like to do than give chase, run and hunt some things, even if it’s just a toy you brought for them. They also have the same sleep pattern as big cats. So as your kitty needs a lot of sleep, selecting the right cat bed for your best friend is important.

Sorting out a space in your home which can be dedicated to your cat’s rest is the first step. You need to select a space in your home where you can set up a cat bed. The space should be a part of your home where you’ll be happy setting up a bed, where it won’t clash with the rest of your home’s style and decor. You probably also want to make sure there is little you cat could knock over and that you are happy giving that space over. It could be a draft-free corner which is a little secluded to give you cat privacy. At the same time, cats often like to see what is going on around the house and outside. Think about this when you are placing your cat bed. If your cat is a little older it can also be a good idea to have a litter tray close by. Take a little time to think about where is best in your home in terms or room and furniture layout to set up a cat bed and area.

Cats spend most of their life sleeping, so finding the right cat bed for your moggie is essential to having the happy, healthy and energetic cats we all love. There are plenty of different types of cat beds, houses, baskets and cushions and our range of cat beds come in a variety of materials, sizes and colours. You’re sure to find the perfect cat bed for both your beloved pet and your home and lifestyle. Down to the basics. Most cats love a space they can snuggle and burrow down into, like a box or covered bed. Most cats love these boxes as it satisfies their need to burrow and find hiding places.

The Sogno bed is just right for this type of kitty. The Snogo cat bed is just like a pod your cat can jump into and snuggle away from the world. Ecological and socioeconomiclly responsible, our cat beds are handmade from organic felt and by produced by a group of women in Nepal. The Sogno bed gives your cat a sense of privacy and helps them get a great nap.

Does your cat like to sun themselves in the garden or on a windowsill? Cat’s adore heat and you’ve probably noticed that when indoors your cat loves to sit and sleep by a radiator, or on top of your computer or TV. They’ll naturally try and find a place which is warm and inviting, so when choosing your cat bed, keep in mind that they generally like to be warm and snuggly. So choose a cat bed which can provide them with this warmth. The Sogno bed is perfect for that but we’ve got other great options from our range of five cat beds. Circo cat baskets and Circo cushions are perfect for providing a place your cat can burrow and hideaway in. Thanks to their organic felt, Circo beds keep your cat warm and snuggly. 

We love cats and the occasional cat nap. Our cat’s love to sleep in warm and comfortable spaces., Provide your feline friend with the perfect cat bed to sleep in by viewing our range of handmade, sturdy and eco friendly cat beds at Sasha & Me.

At The End Of A Dog Day, Your Pup Needs A Bed

When you come home at the end of a hard day all you want to do is flop onto your bed. It should be a somewhere which is warm and inviting. A cosy place where you can let the cares of the world melt away as you sink into the comfy bedspread and cushions. And when it is time to sleep, your bed should be somewhere you can sleep in comfort before waking up recharged and ready to go. As much as us humans love our beds, our dogs love their dog beds even more! 

We might sleep in our beds for a few hours a night but our furry, four-legged friends spend as much as eighteen hours a day in theirs. So we need to make sure our dogs are sleeping in a bed which is comfortable and of the right size for their needs. And, though you might not think it, not all dog beds are created equally. Whilst some dog beds can be a little drab and unappealing (yes even your dog can have tastes) others are just not right for your pooch.

Your dog bed should be pillowy soft and make your four-legged-friend feel like are floating on a cloud as they drift off to sleep. That’s exactly how we designed our range of dog beds, baskets and cushions to feel. Pillowy soft organic felted Circo Dog Basket cushions pair perfectly with the stylish, firm and comfortable Circo Basket. Style might not be too important to your pooch but it is to the rest of us. If you have spent a lot of time carefully planning and decorating your home, you probably don’t want to just dump a dog bed in the mix which looks completely out of place. 

All of our products follow an elegant, and timeless design ethic. We have worked to create a range of dog beds which your dog can feel at home in but just as importantly, will fit in your home. As much as you care for your pooch, you certainly don’t want a case of drab dog bed blues cramping the sartorial elegance of you pad. Beds like the Circo Baskets and Cushions or the Classico dog bed range are all made from ethically sourced materials, such as organic felt. We follow eco-friendly practices in making our stylish doggy bedding, so you, your dog and the planet can all benefit! 

At Sasha & Me we love dogs and we always want them to have the highest quality of life. Let’s face it for a lot of dog’s that means having a great place to nap after their walk or whilst you are getting on with things around the house. Our range of dog beds comes in seven different styles and sizes, meaning no matter the size of your dog, how much space you have and your decor, there will be a perfect dog bed for you.

Smaller dogs often like to snuggle down in a basket-style dog bed as we have two great dog baskets, the Diva bed, for our little diva’s and the Circo basket. Circo baskets and Diva Beds are perfect for smaller dog breeds. They come in smaller and larger sizes so you can find one the right size for you. The felted sides of the Circo bed are strong enough for your dog to rest and lean up against, so they won’t squash or mishape it over time.To give your dog extra comfort, we also make cushions to go into the basket. The basket comes in grey or ice colours, which fit into most colour schemes. The cushions come in a range of seven colours which will fit into most colour schemes.

For larger breeds a simpler bed can often be a good answer. They are easy to store if your dog doesn’t use them during the day and can fit into just about any room. We have a range of dog beds in different styles, sizes, colours and materials. The Mano Bed even looks like a giant cushion and it would work really well positioned in a bedroom or living room where cushions and throws are at home.

Choosing the right dog bed for your furry friend is important, after all you don’t want to bring one home and find your dog won’t sleep on it or that it is not comfortable for them. You dog can’t talk to you, but they can let you know what they like and don’t like. You can also think about your dog’s age, size and habits. If you have a double coated dog you probably want a thinner bed without side, like the Classico or Velluto Bed. Thinner coated dogs will probably prefer basket style dog beds.

Just like we need a place to call our own, a place to relax; our pets need a place where they can escape to and rest to be as lively and playful as they want the following day. As well as looking at the type of bed your dog needs you also need to think about where to set up your doggy bedroom. It should be somewhere your dog can have some privacy but can still get to easily whenever they want to during the day. You should also make sure where you set it up is temperate, comfortable and draught free. 

Choosing the right dog bed is important for your dog and your home. Check out our range of beautifully hand crafted dog beds.