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When people interrupt really rowdy play, they assume that they are “playing it safe,” that is, doing no harm. Our research shows that for many dogs, play fighting is the primary method used to negotiate new relationships and develop lasting friendships.
If she pulls against your grip in an attempt to interact with the other dog, release her.
No sooner would Sam stand up than Sage would neckbite him and flip him on his back again.
At first, we thought that Sage might be too rough for Sam, so we would intervene by holding one or both of them back.
Here, we focus primarily on dog play that some might consider “inappropriate” or “not safe.”In the field of animal behavior, researchers often refer to social play as “play fighting” because it includes many of the behaviors seen during real fights.
For example, during play, one dog might chase and tackle another, or use a neck bite to force a partner to the ground.
Close attention to the context, however, can help us differentiate between play aggression and real aggression.