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The "Enough" Command

Playing is good for puppies and mature dogs alike. It helps them burn off energy, get needed exercise, stimulate their minds and senses, and learn how to interact with other dogs. Usually, if the playing gets too rough, one dog will signal to the other that "that hurt" with a little yelp and/or body language. But sometimes that's not enough; some dogs get too rough ... and for some dogs, intense play can trigger dog aggression.

Furthermore, if you take your dog to dog parks or play groups, there's always a chance for things to get out of hand. This is not to say that you should be fearful when your dog plays vigorously -- but rather, that you should always be vigilant.

A wonderful idea is the "Enough" command, shared by Amber Niewold, a volunteer with Oakland (California) Animal Control. Amber explains:

"I have trained my dogs to stop whatever they are doing at the command 'enough!' The way I do it is to stop their play periodically with the 'enough' command, reward them , and then allow them to return to play.

"Now I can get them to stop whenever I want, so if I see rough play begin to escalate, I just say 'enough' and it gets their attention long enough to grab a collar and end things.

"Fortunately, I've never had to stop a real fight, just play that seemed to be getting out of hand. Hopefully I will never have to test their obedience in a real fight," says Amber. "But the more I reinforce the -enough" command, the more likely I will be able to defuse a dangerous situation.'

Last Updated: April 26, 2018 (LET) PawSupport