A chase game with kids and dogs is often a favorite among both kids and puppies. Kids love to run. Puppies love to chase. Sounds like a great way for both to burn off energy, right? It is, until puppies start to nip when they catch up to the child. Sometimes the game of Chase ends up not being quite as fun as it originally sounded.
For some puppies, the game of Chase just might not be a good idea. Many puppies end up nipping children and scaring the kids. This can be true of any breed, but tends to be especially problematic with some of the herding breeds, such as Australian Shepherds and Border Collies.
However, there is a way that often makes the game of Chase fun for both parties. Rather than trying to teach puppies not to grab when they “catch” the one being chased, we can redirect them to grabbing something appropriate. While we can work to teach them not to grab, for some puppies, this is a difficult thing to teach. We are working against their natural behaviors by trying to get them to stop, so instead, simply redirect that grab away from the child being chased and onto an appropriate toy.
I recommend getting a couple of LONG toys that kids can carry as they run, letting the toy drag behind them. This way, when the puppy is looking for something to grab, the long, dangling toy is the easiest thing to reach. The toy will be even more desirable to your puppy if it is only brought out for this game and not left out for the puppy to play with on her own.
You can buy toys or even make your own. Just make sure they are plenty long. One option for purchase is our Power Tugs that we created and make.