Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Kujo plays nice!

Bullies Love to Play!
Dogs learn to socialize best through play. Also, dogs work through issues during playful moments. Listen how Bojangles vocalizes to Kujo during play. The sounds Bojangles produces have a pleading tone of let us play. Play can sometimes look similar to a real fight, understanding how dogs communicate is important.

We must look at the tail, ears, and  the tones to understand if a dog is playing. If a person does not learn a dog's language often times playing can be misunderstood  as a real fight.  Also, the change in mood can switch within a second. So,  to prevent misunderstandings, unwanted dog bites, or fights, learning how dogs communicate in general, playfully, and not so nice is important.

One of the signs when dogs are play fighting is when the tail is relaxed, sways back and forth. Also, the ears are in a natural position. Tones are soft, inviting, and playful. When the dog's mood changes from play to upset the dog's tail becomes rigid and often times point in the direction in which the dog is focused. The ears will lay flat and stiff. The ear may lay back, forward or to the side.  The dog’s eyes will narrow with a facial expression of a look to kill. The tone of the dog changes to low warning growls or grunts. Sometimes a change in the barking tones can warn of a mood change before a growl.

The best method I have found to prevent play time turning negative is to stop play when one of the dogs start to display warning tones or body language. Also, I do not allow my dogs to be rough with each other. I will stop the dogs playing if one dog starts to hurt another.

Most of the time when a dog becomes hurt during play is done by accident. I stop the play not to punish my dogs, yet to teach them the boundaries they need. Also, teaching the dogs to pay attention and listen to commands is a great  practice to insure I may have their attention in most situations filled with distractions.

Please leave a comment below and let us know how you understand your animals language. Do you know when they are playing. Do you allow play? Does your dogs play when you are not home? 

Video created by April Hoffman
Watch Bojangles live life while breaking his heartworm treatment rule, no activities.

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