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Is My Dog A Bully? What Does Healthy Dog Play Look Like?

Updated: Feb 17

Can watching a rowdy match ever be relaxing?

Dogs playing
How to know if your dog is a bully

Have you ever watched your dog playing and wondered if your dog is a bully or being bullied? I remember so many times when I have watched my dogs Luke and Gretchen wrestling. Gretchen would growl and snarl then pummel Luke with a stout hip check. Luke would flail on the floor, legs wiggling in the air and head bobbing about. But wait -- what is this goofy grin? It was hard to believe he was enjoying the game, but five seconds later he would pop right up and initiate some speedy chase.

As I gained more experience with dog play, I realized knowing the signs of good dog play was the key to relaxing and letting it happen. I find watching dog play one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time - thanks to knowing what play is good and when it's time to pack it up for the day.

We put together a dog play primer to set you on your way to understanding play between our furry friends. We hope you enjoy this read on the signs of good dog play. We included some tips for times when you are not quite sure, as well as some things to look out for as your dog ages.

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