Is Your Dog Playing Or Being Aggressive?
Dogs love to wrestle, play tug, growl, and chase each other…it’s how they have fun, but that can also look a lot like what they do when they are angry…can you tell whether they are having fun or whether they are exhibiting aggression? For the untrained eye, sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether your dog, or someone else’s dog is playing or being aggressive, they can look very similar. In fact, they can start out friendly and turn very unfriendly.
What are the signs of aggressive behaviors?
It’s fun to watch dogs interact and play when you’re sure they’re having a good time. The key to telling the difference between fun, and not so fun is to watch and understand your dog’s body language.
Sign your dog may be acting aggressive…
- If Fido’s body goes stiff and he is standing very rigid, and appears to be frozen, he is not playing…this is or has become serious business. This could be a sign of stress or nervousness.
- Your dog’s ears may be held stiffly forward.
- His hackles (the hair along his spine) could be raised.
- He may make lunging moves toward the other dog.
- He may hold his tail high and slowly move it side to side.
- Watch your dog’s mouth, if his lip goes into a snarl, what follows may be a growl or a snap at the other dog.
- If your a dog is intently focused on the other dog to the degree that he isn’t even blinking
- Although your dog may growl when he is actually playing, if his body is relaxed, he is in play mode. But if the growling comes with the above body language the play has intensified.
On the other hand, if your dog is not the aggressor, you can spot these behaviors to know he is feeling fear:
- Ears tucked back
- Tail tucked between his legs
- Head and body lowered
- No eye contact
- Uncontrolled urination
These are all good signals that these dogs are not being playful, and it’s time to separate them; do it while you can, because you should never try to get in the middle of 2 angry dogs.
What can you do to avoid aggressive behavior in your dog?
- One important thing you can do, is to treat and train your dog with respect and kindness. Yelling angrily at him or striking him will only cause stress and accentuate the model of aggressive behavior.
- One of the best things to do for your pup, is to make sure he is well socialized, and one of the best ways you can do that is to have him enrolled with a professional trainer in a socialization class…the younger the better. Here they will be taught positive behaviors to become a well-mannered dog. Also, you can start while they are young engaging them with other dogs for playdates.
- Aggression is often “hormone driven”, so spay or neuter your dog at an early age.
***The dogs in these pictures are all well-behaved, playing well and having fun with each other.***
At BowWow Fun Towne, we take your dog’s safety and health seriously, and have strict guidelines for our canine guests to have the proper vaccinations
Dogs are our business, and our friends, and we understand how important your dog is to you.
We are experts in dog day care – We are have a Puppy Preschool that would be great to enroll your pup in! Our facility features a full size swimming pool for fun and exercise.