I have had many clients over the years who complain that they are concerned or embarrassed about their dog’s behavior when playing with other dogs. Some dogs are constantly biting the necks or backs of other dogs, chasing in “dogged” pursuit when the other dog seems to be wanting only to get away, or barreling into other dogs with a strength that throws the recipient off her feet. It’s common for dog owners to worry that their dog is either too fearful, too rough, too aggressive, or just plain annoying to other dogs in his or her play style.
Sometimes a video model is a great way to begin assessing your own dog’s social skills or those of a client’s dog.
In this selection from Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist Dr. Patricia McConnell’s Reading Room, some video examples demonstrate appropriate play between dogs, including that which occurs between dogs running freely outside, during toy tugging, and during an initial greeting.