Play Fighting

Dogs will naturally engage in this game when invited to do so because this is how they played with their litter brothers and sisters and often how they still play with other dogs. It is a game of strength and can involve mouthing and play biting.

For most dogs this is a game to avoid, especially with large breeds and where children, elderly or disabled people come into regular contact with your dog.  It isn't really fair to engage in games that may get your dog into trouble if he/she tries to play them with somebody else.

If your dog is trying to solicite this sort of game, you may find the  Mouthing, Play-biting and Nose-tabbing page helpful. If the behaviour has already become intense and is causing serious concern, seek referral to a professional via your Veterinary Surgeon.

The game is often encouraged by children playing and/or too much unsupervised, rough play with other dogs/animals. It is important that your dog does not learn to view children and other animals as moving chew toys! Leave a light webbing lead trailing so that you can quietly pick it up and call a ‘time out’ during play sessions. If children are playing    fast, noisy games it is unfair to expect your dog to remain calm.

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