Normal Dog Play Behavior

One of the scary things a dog owner might experience is a dogfight. Many owners find it difficult to see when a dogfight starts and how to differentiate between playing and fighting. It can also be hard to know when you can move in and interrupt your dog’s contact. Knowing, first of all, avoiding dog fights is one of the most critical aspects to recognize for dog owners.

Below are few signal dogs show when they are playing and or want to play:

Takes a “play bow” position: The dog makes a play bow by putting his front legs on the ground while his back is in the air facing another dog. Some exuberant dogs might even go to the extent of banging their front legs to the ground to show they are extremely willing to play.

Taking turns: dogs who play together often take turns to chase each other.

A smiling appearance: If your dog is happy, you know. You could see that, as he runs around a dog park with a friend, he appears to smile.

Excessive barking or growling: Puppies do growl while adult dogs bark; in some cases, your dog might even exhibit a puppies’ by growling. This could sound scary, but if you noticed your dog and his friend are having a good time, you do not need to be worried.

Play Biting: It is one of the most difficult signals pet parents accept because we view biting as a negative except for food eating. But dogs do this often without an intention to harm each other. It isn’t rare that a dog will be lying down on the floor, while one dog gently bites on the others ears or nose. They bite each other around the neck and head but not aggressively to pierce through the skin.

Crossing the Line
How to know when the line is crossed between dogs playing and aggressive dogs’ behavior? Dog aggression signs include higher hackles, rigidity, biting, or lunging. Separate them immediately if any dog shows aggression. But never get between two fighting dogs.

Dogs may also be territorial, to a place, food, a toy, or a person. When you know that one of your dogs has this territoriality behavior, it’s best to detach them before an aggressive behavior starts.

Then work with an obedience trainer to try to learn to suppress this behavior. This is often possible when a new dog is introduced to an older dog into the house. The older dog isn’t accustomed to sharing his toys or affection, so you will need to have patience and extra training to get him accustomed to sharing his room.

It might be best for you to avoid situations where your dog can be liable to fight, if you have an aggressive or dominant dog. But you should be alert always if you had a dog who showed signs of aggression in the past. At some point, there can be a relapse.

If this behavior is routine, consult your veterinarian. Watch and learn from Cesar Milan (the dog whisperer). If you fail to make him play happily, you may have to find a behavior trainer who will teach your dog to do the right thing and know the wrongs not to do.

How to avoid aggressive behaviors in your dog?

To keep your dog from being scared or hostile towards another dog, you should most importantly start socializing him early. You can decrease the risk that your dog will respond negatively to other dogs when he is older by regularly meeting or engaging with other dogs. Start with an obedience class for your dog to enable him to communicate easily with other puppies/dogs.

You can also meet new canine friends on walks, set up dates to play with neighbor dogs, or visit a dog park. In these situations, make sure your dog is comfortable. If your dog is frightened or intimidated by another dog, you cannot help your dog feel more relaxed around other dogs without utilizing the right way of doing things in that scenario. Maintain healthy relationships and don’t pressure the dog into an awkward situation.

Dogs can sometimes play too much and get annoyed or offended. When the rough play gets too intense, it’s best to separate them, so no one gets hurt. You can give them something to chew on to distract them from each other. Do this until they are calm, and you are sure there won’t be any aggressive behavior.

In summary, looking at happy dogs at play is joy and encouragement. Make the best possible effort to let your dog at least weekly communicate with other dogs. Even if they don’t play and simply sniff, it’s helpful for their development and an excellent way to promote good behavior.

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