How Can You Know When Your Beagles Playing Or Fighting?

beagles playing or fighting

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Each day, about 1,000 U.S. citizens need emergency care treatment for dog bite injury. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality published a study in 2010 showing that the number of Americans hospitalized for dog bite injuries almost doubled over a 15-year period.

Many of these injuries happen when owners have to try to break up dog fights.

How Can You Know When Your Beagles Playing Or Fighting?

Fairly aggressive dog play definitely forms part of the enjoyment of being a dog. It is how they explore their world and socialize with other animals and people.When your beagles are playing or fighting its' usually completely, safe, and healthy, but there are times when it gets dangerous if it goes too far.

Is This Friendly Play Or Dangerous Fighting?

Beagles playing or fighting?

Dog owners often incorrectly define friendly play as dangerous fighting and other times fail to respond to what has become real aggression.

Appropriate play often looks especially rough but human intervention very often may not be required.

Most dogs play safely with one another by relying on a number of cut off signals that show their friendly intentions. Conflict is avoided so long as each dog lets the other to win and lose in the game.

Play bows, and displacement behavior that includes sniffing, yawning, sneezing, itching and licking take place through the course of play to let each other know that any future action will still be just playing.

So play works best when both dogs know the rules, keep their cool and are willing to win and lose the game.

Beagles might play-bite, lunge, swipe, and even bark at you or other dogs during play but it will usually be done in a gentle, friendly way. Having said that, playful activities sometimes take a turn for the worse if your dog has started biting or playing in a way harmful to people or other animals.

Avoiding Too Much Rough Play

1.0 Discourage Rough Behavior

Dog owners often encourage their dogs to begin behaving in a rough way, when they wrestle or roll around with their pets.

One sure way to deal with this is to break the dogs up before they get started.

Dogs are usually in a genial mood when they play. They might lean forward, growl, or yap. Keep an eye on your Beagles body language so you can spot signs of over aggressive dog play before it escalates.

If dogs begin to expose their teeth, use a low-pitched growl, or yelp when they are bitten the situation may be getting out of hand.

2.0 Letting Your Beagle Cool Off

When you notice the situation becoming a little intense, remove your Beagle dog for a time-out.

Sometimes it's obvious at the beginning of a bout that the two dogs are playing, but once they start to growl and become aroused an observer cannot be sure they are still playing.

Never play power games like “tug-of-war” with them unless you are going to win every time.

Make it clear that you own all the toys. Only keeping one or two dog toys out at a time and you should decide which ones your Beagle can play with. Dogs with too many toys often hoard their toys in a safe place to increase their own influence in the household.

3.0 Stopping Incidents Before They Begin

It may be hard to distinguish play from a dangerous encounter. It's best to nip, things in the bud if you notice them getting out of control.

Why Dogs Play Fight

Beagles playing or fighting?

Some people think that rough play is practice for the real thing. Dog behaviorist originally hypothesized that animals play fight to improve their combat skills, but the latest research doesn’t support these claims.

Research suggests that dogs play to form social bonds, enhance intellectual development, and practice coping skills for life’s unforeseen occurrences.

My dogs Biscuit and Four pence are fast friends. They have an established routine of wake up, eat, go for a walk, and then wrestle until it's time for me to go to the office.

When I get home it's another walk and then more wrestling until one of them gives up and needs a nap.

How To Tell When Play Is Going Well

The more we learn about body-language and dog behavior, the better we are able to respond to tricky situations.

I am sure you already know that play often starts with a “play bow”--front end low, butt wiggling in the air, goofy open-mouthed smile. If plays going splendidly, you’ll see consistent, fluid, loose movements with the dogs taking turns to be dominant in the game.

As the play progresses, you may see the dogs taking turns being on the bottom or being the chaser or the one being chased.

Keep an eye on the dogs’ faces. Look out for open mouths. You might even see teeth and hear snarls and growls. These will be in the context of fluid movement and lots of changes. The dogs won’t lock themselves into any one position.

How to Tell When Dog Play Is Going Seriously Wrong

On the flip side, suppose you see brief freezes or the growling grows deeper and more intense? If the dogs are stiffening up and making faltering movements, it’s time to interrupt.

When dogs stand on their hind legs nose to nose and box this may be the prelude to a dog fight.

Pit Bulls and certain terriers seem to have hair triggers, particularly with dogs they don’t know well. If you’ve got an aggressive puppy like that the crowding and random mingling at dog parks probably isn't a good idea.

What Is “Safe” Dog Play?

I recommend carefully controlling play between dogs of different size or age, or those who don't know each other well. Dogs are extremely skilled at identifying which dogs they want to play with and the most suitable approach when playing with their friends.

There are clear differences between play fighting and real fighting. When playing, dogs cut the force of their bites and even voluntarily give a smaller partner a competitive edge. They may roll on their backs or let themselves be caught during a chase. This would certainly never occur during a real dog fight.

When your Beagle performs a play bow, he’s telling the other dog that lunges, growls, bounces, and snaps aren’t real threats.

Socially Skilled Dogs Can Deal With Their Own Minor Mistakes

You don’t necessarily have to break the dogs up every time play gets a little out of hand. Even socially skilled dogs who are firm friends sometimes make mistakes. They may start nipping a tad too hard, for instance, or body-slamming with just a little too much enthusiasm.

Usually, the dogs will de-escalate the game all by themselves. The dog on the receiving end of the oversight will yelp or snap and the dog who made the error will move out of the other dog’s space.

One or both dogs are likely to “shake off,” almost like shaking off water after a bath. There may be a renewed invitation to play, which may or may not be accepted. In any event, the dogs have taken care of the situation just fine.

Can Three Dogs Play Happily Together?

Beagles playing or fighting?

Dogs play best in pairs; when a third dog joins in two often gang up on the third.This is when playing or fighting usually occurs.

Often one dog winds up lying on his back with his tail tucked between his legs and his neck exposed, while the other two stand over him, stiff and tense. The victim dog may stand at bay, with tucked tail. The others may dart in and out, nipping.

Or perhaps a chase suddenly goes from “Yippee!” to “Oh no, they’re really after me!” The dog that's being chased will have tail tucked, and if the chasers catch up with her they may body slam her to the ground and then stand over her.

One Last Thing

Spay Or Neuter Your Dog

For Beagles, playing is all about exerting dominance over another dog, object, or person. Spaying or neutering can help reduce many of these impulses, making an aggressive puppy much calmer and easier to manage.

Well, I hope we have shed some light on how can you tell when your beagles playing or fighting.Should you have anything that you would like to share please use the box below this post. I would love to hear from you.

“After years of having a dog, you know him. You know the meaning of his snuffs and grunts and barks. Every twitch of the ears is a question or statement, every wag of the tail is an exclamation.” Robert McCammon, Boy's Life


Richard S.

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