Wellness Wednesday- August 15th, 2018

August 15th, 2018

All the ways a puppy likes to play

Do you happen to have a new puppy and wonder about the way they play? Well on todays Wellness blog we are going to give you a run down on the different ways puppies like to play. Did you know that the way a puppy plays depends on their breed? Knowing the different ways of puppy play ca be helpful when taking your pup to the dog park. Hopefully, with this information you can determine if you should step in during play and when you can just relax and enjoy cute puppies playing. 


Any type of interaction with other puppies, a human or even a cat is considered social play. Some examples of social play include: wrestling,  biting, play-fighting and chase games. 

Did you know that puppies begin to social play as early as three weeks of age? This early type of social play are shown by play-biting, pawing and barking. Of course with any living thing the intensity of social play escalates and becomes more complex as the dog gets older. 

If your puppy raises its paw, that is a great first play-eliciting gesture seen in puppies. Another great indicator that your puppy wants to play is the play-bow. This action is simply when your pups butt end is up and its front is down. This is a classic invitation for all dogs big or small for social interaction. 

Other signs your dog wants to play are barking, leaping forward to nose-poke and then withdrawing, far pawing or licking. If you see ay of these actions you can breath a sigh of relief and know your pup is just looking to play!


Has your puppy ever chased or pounced at imaginary objects? If so, this is a type of play called self-directed play. It is though to be a replacement for social play when a play-partner isn't available. However, if your pup ever has extreme tail chasing or habitually target "invisible" objects such as snapping at nonexistent bugs should be checked by the vet. These types of actions could indicate obsessive-compulsive or seizure conditions. 


Locomotory play simply means the puppy is in motion. Locomotory play can involve solo play or interaction with others. When an adult dog participates in locomotory play it normally involves a pair or group of dogs. However, puppies are just the opposite. They are content with indulging in games of "ghost-tag" running, jumping and rolling about when they're by themselves. 


Did you know that dogs may "pretend" to be aggressive to invite play? Dogs will use exaggerated behaviors that are called meta signals. An good example of a meta signal is the play-bow which we talked about in social play. This is where the pups butt is in the air and the front end is in a downward position. If your dog shows this type of action, they are telling you that any bark, growls or wrestling that comes after are many as fun and games. 

Another indicator of "just kidding" play is when your puppy drops a toy at your feet or in front of another pet. They are inviting you are others to play. Inhibited bites using open mouths that are aimed at legs and paws of other dogs are also common play behaviors. 


Has your pup ever been in a position to where they other dog got wound up and seemed to start bulling your dog? This type of play is considered inappropriate play. Normal puppy play highly encourages taking turns chasing and pinning each other. If your puppies playmate appears to always end up on top when wrestling or play bites that are directed more to the head or neck this is a sign that your puppy is playing with a bully dog. Another sign of a bully dog is a lower-pitched growl or if your puppy yelps more than normal while playing then its a good idea to break up the play session and let the dogs calm down. 

Playing with your puppy or letting your puppy play with others is important. Puppy play is a great way for your pup to learn important doggy lessons. Who knew puppy play could have such an impact on your fur buddy? Puppy play helps your dog figure out what is and isn't acceptable behavior, it helps them discover how their bodies work and it also teaches them ways to interact with other animals and the world around them. I hope you can take this information with you the next time your puppy has a playdate and you feel confident knowing if what type of play your puppy is expressing.

If you feel you don't have as much time to focus on socializing your pup with other dogs a great solution is sending your puppy to doggy daycare here at The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel. Below are a few benefits of doggy daycare. 

  1. Relief from boredom
  2. Relief from loneliness and the anxiety that loneliness can case in dogs
  3. Socialization with people
  4. Much-needed exercise and socialization with other dogs
  5. Prevention of destructive behavior in the house when unsupervised

We can promise that when your dog is at doggy daycare The Ark not only provides peace of mind but also the following...
  • Spacious indoor play yards
  • Turf outdoor play yards
  • Pet cams
  • All day play
  • Certified kennel crew

If you are looking to sign your puppy up for doggy daycare give your local Ark a call or visit our website www.thearkspa.com to get more information about our doggy daycare services. 

Resources: www.thesprucepets.com

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Pet Wellness

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