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July 17, 2013

The Art Of Two Dogs At Play

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

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.

Bow before the dance

 Eko always begins playtime with a bow

RHodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Rigeback photos, marking our territory, pet adventure

Usually Eko loves to give chase

The bandit

But the Windy City Bandit also has his methods to encourage another pups to chase him

"Hey, over here!"

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

Fearless pup

A direct approach is generally more effective

Evening up the playing field

For smaller dogs, Eko will purposefully even the field by laying down to play

Teaching the puppy

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

The clash

Somehow Eko knows not to jump into smaller dogs with all his weight

Getting bigAnd thankfully dogs even bigger than Eko seem to know this rule as well

IMG_6886It 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!

Comments for The Art Of Two Dogs At Play

  1. Emmadog says:

    Different breeds have play characteristics too which is so cool to see. Even though my sis and I are rare and hard to find, we have at some point found a breed match and Mom was fascinated by how we had the same moves! There is also an instinct thing with dogs that they are not to harm puppies and most of the time it takes over when we meet up with little ones. Mom loves watching us play too. With Eko’s bow, he could maybe get into Sumo Wrestling if he packed on another 100 lbs 😉

  2. My Cricket, a Cockapoo, has no idea how to play. When other dogs play bow at her she just cocks her head and looks at me, like, what’s wrong with that dog?

  3. Steven/Buddy says:

    Buddy does a walk around the dog most of the time before he plays. Now with dogs he knows, Well thats a differnt story, he lays down like a loin hunting his next meal. Then he waits for the right time to jump up to start playing.
    I only have had Buddy since September and I have had dogs all my life, with Buddy I am learning differnt body and face jesters he does and makes to other dogs.
    I am going to send for a DNA test kit to find out what he is, with everything he does, confuses me on what he is ?
    Again Will & Eko great pictures !

  4. Marcela says:

    Lol. Eko looks extremely happy and exhausted. My kid of canine companion:)

  5. harrispen says:

    Eko sounds like the perfect canine play mate. Our two play very well together and do fine in social situations too, but Eko seems to be the king of appropriate play. It’s probably a good thing since he doesn’t live with another dog and goes to the dog beach and parks for those encounters. I also love to watch dogs play. Have fun!

    Cindy

  6. Misaki says:

    he sure looks happy:-)

  7. I need Eko to come over and teach my guys how to play. Both come from bad situations, are older (8-9) and just don’t get the whole concept. I feel like they are missing out. Does he make house calls to California?

  8. Bongo says:

    I love the way you compared dog play to art. I think I need to go out and paint more pictures on the trails.

  9. Judy says:

    It is the unrestrained joy of the moment that makes my heart glad and teaches us humans to enjoy every moment for what it is!!

  10. Heading to Chicago via North Dakota in a week or so. Hoping to catch one of those dog beaches in Chicago. Which one does Eko go to? I would love to have Luther & BuddyJack have some fun time.

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