Dogs' Play Styles

Dogs come in all shapes, sizes and personalities thanks to years of breeding for specific tasks. Not all dogs play the same, and none of them play like we do with our human friends.

Dogs have an amazing way of communicating with each other, though some aren’t very good at it especially if they haven’t been socialized enough with other dogs.

People often get nervous when their dog is playing with other dogs in a playgroup or at the park, because they see teeth flashing and dogs barking and playing “rough”. Many dogs enjoy the rough play and they love to bark while playing. Some love to nip at other’s back legs, face, ears and herding other dogs around.

Sometimes owners get stressed out when they witness such “rough” play then start shouting out their dog’s name. This can cause a perfectly happy and healthy play to turn into a dogfight.

Dogs are very much in tune with their owner’s emotions, and when they sense their stress, it makes them think that there is a problem. Yes! You guessed it! The owner transfers their stress to the dog, which causes the dog to react in his playgroup. This can cause dogfights to occur.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that we allow our dogs to play unsupervised. I believe that we, as responsible dog owners, should educate ourselves about canine body language so that we can understand how our dogs feel and what they are trying to communicate. With better understanding about dog language, we can confidently supervise dogs at play and prevent fights from occurring!

Maryam