Your Pets Count

pet information that caters to your special friend



December 2023

Confusing Dog Play with Aggression

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
posted by Jim Murphy

It’s great to see your dog romping around in a dog park and interacting with other dogs but some of that interaction could signal aggression. We humans miss some of the signs that indicate aggression rather than play. Play can look aggressive, but it’s generally enjoyable to both dogs if you see these signs:

  • Front legs outstretched and hind quarter up
  • A bark or high pitched growl
  • An equal balance of being on top and being on bottom
  • Mouth open when biting
  • For most breeds, hackles aren’t up.
  • The dogs will start and stop again.
  • There’s more side to side than forward movement.
  • Bodies are relaxed and loose.

Growling, snapping and biting are common during play but the following signs can indicate aggression.

These behaviors can be a warning sign of trouble:

  • Staring at the other dog
  • One dog standing with his head and neck over the other dog’s neck or shoulders in a “t” position
  • Walking around the other dog with
    • Legs stiff
    • Neck arched
    • Tail held high

Keep a close eye on your dog while at the dog park. There may be some times when play turns to aggression.

Thanks to for providing some of the information for this article.

Remember, your pets count!

The best variety of oldies and standards are in one place. We play the 50s through the 80’s plus great vocals–we’re your summertime station at the Delaware beaches Edgewater Gold Radio. You may download the free Edgewater Gold Radio or listen from our website:


Comments are closed.