Puppy Play or Puppy Fight?

Jeep and Dot Com spend a lot of time together playing.  It seems they particularly enjoy roughhousing when I am sitting on the floor with them.  Often the play involves one of them holding a toy in her mouth and trying to get me or the other dog to take it.  Here is a clip of Jeep trying to get Dot to play with her.  Notice how big Jeep’s mouth is compared to Dot’s?  Dot tries to pretend she is not interested in the ball, but we all know she really is.  Dot is CRAZY about tennis balls.  Dot cannot stand it if Jeep has a ball.  Of course, this makes Jeep all the more playful.

You can also see how the dogs use their paws to playfully swipe at each other.  Of course our friend Jeep has some pretty big paws, but Dot doesn’t seem to mind.  In fact a lot of times Dot is the one who starts it.  Jeep and Dot also like to chest bump each other.  Take a peek.

So how do you know if the puppies are playing or really fighting?  When dogs play their tails are up and wagging.  You might see the dogs bow down on their front legs to each other.  Just like when you play with your friends, there should  be turn taking.  Yes, after a few minutes Jeep will drop the ball and Dottie will happily snatch it up.  Then the game starts all over again with Dot trying to get Jeep to take the ball from her.

While the dogs might be growling as part of the fun, their mouths should be open and their heads moving loosely.  Dogs who are fighting freeze their bodies, stare, then lunge.

I am happy that Jeep and Dot Com have so much fun together.  They really are best buddies even if Dot wants to steal all the tennis balls.

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