Are My Dogs Playing Or Fighting?

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Are My Dogs Playing Or Fighting?

Some of the signs that dogs play happily are growls, pinched teeth and rolling on the floor. Some of the signs that dogs become aggressive and fight each other are - well, they can be the same! It may require some additional guidance, including knowledge of the dog's body language, to know if your dogs have moved from the field to combat behavior. Find out if your dogs are playing or fighting.


The website of the American Kennel Club says that the growling, growling, hitting and neck bites that puppies often do is a normal puppy behavior. As soon as they open their eyes, puppies wrestle with each other. It's the best way for them to learn socialization and how not to bite too hard. When a puppy bites another puppy and this puppy cheers, the first puppy learns that his bite was too hard, which is a valuable lesson for the future.

What do happy, playful puppies look like? Happy puppies are laying their front end and their back end in the air. Puppies that growl may sound more serious than they actually are, and they can be lasting and exaggerated. The dogs "fall" repeatedly and release their stomach. Sometimes you can even say that they "grin" while doing all these things.

Are My Dogs Playing Or Fighting?

Social Game

Dogs are social animals and play behavior is the way they learn to interact with other dogs. You can imagine playing social games on puppies as role plays as they act as adult dogs. Most dogs could easily bite hard and hurt people and other dogs, but they do not learn it. It is common for dogs to have food and toys on a territorial basis so that the dog's desire to fight can be limited by not using these items.

The AKC website even says it's not okay for dogs to team up with other dogs. While this may not result in injury, this may be an experience that limits your dog's ability to interact in a healthy manner with other dogs in the future. If it looks like one dog has enough and wants to stop, but the other dog is leaving, it's probably time to separate them. This can be easier if you distract them.

Are My Dogs Playing Or Fighting?

Adult Dogs

Adult dogs show many of the same behaviors as puppies. But of course there is more power behind them. When they become aggressive, it can quickly become a problem. Hills Pet says it's common for both puppy and adult dogs to bite, but it's not a problem as long as aggressive growling, ringing or whimpering does not go along with it.

Hills Pet says signs of aggression in dogs are an increased hacking, stiffness, a snap or a trigger. If you see these signs, disconnect the dogs immediately. But be careful! Never sit between two fighting dogs as you may be bitten inadvertently.

The Importance Of The Game

Dog trainer Andrea Arden says that when puppies have consistent interactions with other dogs as they grow, they get valuable information about how vigorously they bite. This is also an important form of socialization as they get used to dealing with other dogs (which leads to many happy hours in the dog park!). According to Arden, for dogs, one of the easiest and most effective ways to promote healthy interaction with other dogs throughout their lives is to be able to play with other dogs during their crucial developmental period of 26 weeks or more.

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