Do dogs play fight? A Comprehensive Guide

Behaviors that say it’s all good fun

  • The play bow – front end down, back end in the air. Sometimes the dog trying to initiate play will slap his front legs down on the ground repeatedly.
  • A big, silly open-mouthed grin.
  • Exaggerated, bouncy movement. The dogs are acting silly.
  • Loud, continuous growling and snarling; again, exaggerated. Play-growling may sound scarier than serious fighting.
  • The dogs voluntarily make themselves vulnerable by “falling” down and exposing their bellies and allowing themselves to be caught when playing chase. They take turns chasing each other.
  • They keep going back for more. Even the dog that ends up on his back doesn’t want to stop playing. They will probably take turns with most play-fighting behaviors.
  • Clubs Offering:

    If two dogs are wrestling and it seems too rough to you, with all that growling and snarling, body-slamming, and biting of each other’s necks, should you intervene? How can you tell if dogs are playing or fighting?

    This is normal dog play. Puppies play with their littermates constantly. From around two weeks, when their eyes open, until they go to their own homes, they spend almost all of their waking hours wrestling with each other. It’s a critical time for social development because it is when they learn bite inhibition and good dog manners. It is good exercise and socialization for them and fun for us to watch. But you should learn how to tell the difference between playing and a real fight when adult dogs are involved.

    Is it okay for dogs to play fight?

    Dog play fighting is a very natural way for canines to communicate, socialize, and get out some pent-up energy. Play fighting may seem intense, especially for new or relatively inexperienced dog owners, but it should be allowed. Play fighting dogs are getting exercise and socialization, while play fighting puppies are learning important adult dog behaviors, so try not to discourage them.

    However, its important to be able to tell the difference between play fighting and a real fight, especially when introducing dogs for the first time. Well teach you how to recognize signs of potential conflict and walk you though how to calmly de-escalate and separate. Play time is important for dogs, as is keeping your puppies safe.

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    Dogs love to roll around and play fight with each other but owners can sometimes become concerned that the activity is getting a little rough. Some dog moms and dads can even try to break up this play, but it’s totally normal for a couple of pups to wrestle, body slam and mouth each other! While it’s normal for dogs to act this way, it’s interesting to understand why. So, continue reading to discover why your dogs are constantly play fighting.