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Published: Dec 27, 2011

Bringing a new puppy into the family comes with new challenges, as well as plenty of love and affection. Although owners may want to simply relax and snuggle with their new additions, training needs to begin right away to ensure they raise well-rounded canines.

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, one of the most important aspects of teaching a puppy is to help it understand how to play and enjoy being active. This can help prevent your puppy from turning into an inactive adult dog who will be more prone to serious medical conditions such as obesity and arthritis.

How much activity a puppy requires depends largely on the breed of dog they are. Large working breeds like German shepherds or bernese mountain dogs require more exercise than a toy poodle or a dachshund. It is possible to overdo it with a puppy so it is important to consult with a veterinarian to avoid over- or under-exercising your new pup.

Games are a great way to have fun with a puppy and help them get active. VCA suggests starting with interactive play like hide and seek - with one family member hiding and the puppy going to find it. Other games to try include search games, such as setting out bits of kibble or treats in the yard and having the new pup try to sniff it out.