two dogs

How Can You Tell If Dogs Are Playing Or Fighting?

Do you ever see your dogs wrestling, growling, and attacking each other but find yourself confused regarding whether they’re fighting or just playing along? You’re not the only one!

Experiencing your dogs fighting can be a frightening experience for many dog owners and sometimes may even lead to one of the dogs getting injured by another.

However, know that puppies play with other puppies constantly. And sometimes may even wrestle to play. This not only makes for good exercise but can also be a form of socializing that they find fun.

How Can You Tell If Dogs Are Playing Or Fighting?

If you as a dog owner cannot figure out when your dogs may be fighting and when they’re just playing around, here are some tips that may be helpful:

  • Understand and analyze their body language: Canine body language may be complex to track, but note that dogs usually begin with the ”play bow” when they’re playing with one another. During a play bow, you will notice your puppy bowing with the front of his legs and chest close to the ground while the back of his legs is straight. This is canine language, and is considered an invitation for some fun playtime!
  • It is also normal for dogs to be vocal when playing around and does not always signal aggression. Dogs will be vocal during their playtime and you may even notice them switching positions as the top and bottom dogs. However, when your dogs are fighting, you may notice their posture becoming more rigid and one of them trying to appear bigger in size than the other. They’re also likely to tear each other’s skin when fighting or bite the skin, this can also lead to injury. The injured dog will cry and need your intervention immediately in this case.
  • When your dogs are fighting, you’re likely to notice them staring directly into each other’s eyes with low growls and a display of their teeth with their ears pinned flat.
  • When your dogs are having a fun playtime, you’re likely to notice them making bouncy movements and they may even chase each other and take turns in doing whereas their body language is usually tensed with a sniff tail and deep growling during a fight.

Why Are My Dogs Fighting?

There are several reasons a fight can break out between your dogs. From playtime gone wrong or too far to them simply not getting along. Also, if you’ve recently just gotten another puppy for your home, the two may not like each other’s presence and that may be a huge contributing factor.

Dogs are possessive about their possessions. So, it’s also common for fights to break out over toys, food, or their own space. So, if you have two dogs in the house, it is crucial to separate their toys, food, and territory so they never have to fight over their belongings!

Moreover, sometimes dogs can also fight simply to redirect a threat. This occurs when one of the dogs senses a threat but can not reach it or eliminate it. So, it decides to attack the dogs nearest to it.

Your dogs can also engage in a fight over your attention. For dogs that live in one household, it can be very common to fight over their owner’s attention or affection or even to protect their owner.

Also, note that dogs that have not been properly socialized in their lifetime are likely to fight more with other pets and dogs. However, any dog that instigates a fight or is the aggressor needs to be analyzed and watched over closely by its owner as dog fights that can sometimes get extreme can also result in injury.

So, it’s highly important to be on the watch out to protect both – yourself and your dogs! And of course, two dogs that tend to fight often should never be left without supervision.

What To Do If Your Dogs Are In A Fight?

If a fight breaks out between your dogs, try to calm the situation down through verbal commands. If the dogs do not seem to listen and also don’t stop or react to other sounds nearby such as car horns or clapping. It may be necessary to stop the fight using different methods.

But make sure to never physically intervene by grabbing their collars. It is very common for you to end up getting bitten if you do.

The ”wheelbarrow method” is another efficient method widely used by dog owners to stop fighting. It is done by two people who grab the back legs of their dogs who are fighting and pulling the dogs away from one another. This makes it impossible for the dogs to continue fighting.

You can also use certain objects to separate the dogs and distract them from each other. However, it is important to ensure you keep your hands far away from the dog’s mouth as you could end up being bitten otherwise. However, some good options include metal garbage can lid, a baby gate, or a large push broom.

After you’ve stopped a fight, it is always a good idea to get your dogs checked by a vet even if you do not see any injuries on them. Your vet will analyze the dogs for any internal injuries and also any external ones that you may have missed.

Conclusion- How Can You Tell If Dogs Are Playing OrFighting

It’s not easy being a dog parent. But you can save both your dogs from any injuries or harm if you supervise your four-legged friends whenever there is a risk of a fight!

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