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Watching two dogs play together always makes me smile. Their exuberance and joy is transcendent. The ballet of two dogs at play is so well choreographed I often forget that the dogs met for the first time less than a minute before the dance began!
How do dogs know what the rules of play are? Sure pups usually get basic bite control and socialization when they’re young, but aside from that it seems to me like playing is an art and our dogs are lifelong artists who make up the rules as they go. With Eko I have noticed that he has a wide variety of “brushes” to choose from when he wants to paint a moving portrait.
Eko always begins playtime with a bow
Usually Eko loves to give chase
But the Windy City Bandit also has his methods to encourage another pups to chase him
There are no weight classes for dogs who want to play, although on more than one occasion a smaller dog has jumped up on Eko without him even noticing
A direct approach is generally more effective
For smaller dogs, Eko will purposefully even the field by laying down to play
He also lays down to play with puppies. This lab was hesitant to play, but as soon as Eko layed down the lab pounced. I guess it’s a much less threatening posture
Somehow Eko knows not to jump into smaller dogs with all his weight
And thankfully dogs even bigger than Eko seem to know this rule as wellIt doesn’t matter if the friends are old or new, puppy or full grown, runners or wrestlers – as long as Eko gets to play, he leaves the park grinning from ear to ear
I’m not sure how dogs know exactly how to play with each other, but I’m also not sure how artists create their work. I guess I’m just glad I get to be there to enjoy it!