Tips on Normal Play Behavior During a Dog Behavior Assessment

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: April 25, 2018

In this Bellevue dog training session we worked with Copper to assess his behavior interacting with dogs and whether he had dog reactivity.

After I arrived I sat down with Copper’s guardian to discuss her main dog behavior concerns. I learned that she was primarily concerned about Copper’s fitness for being a service dog. In the past Copper had growled at another dog in the home; we discussed what normal dog communication looked. It is normal for dogs to communicate and growl at times, it is far better for a dog to be able to growl at another dog to communicate that it needs space than to lunge or bite. This is normal communication and as long as the disagreement does not escalate would not be considered aggressive behavior. To see how I assessed Copper’s behavior with another dog that he lived with you can watch the video below.

As you can see in the video above, Copper is engaging in normal dog play behavior. While I cannot assess how Copper would play with a dog that he is unfamiliar with, there wasn’t anything about his play behavior that caused an alarm. It should also be noted that in order for a dog to be a service dog, the dog does not need to be able to play with other dogs, they need to be able to get along with them in a public space.

By the end of the session I had seen how Copper played and lived with other dogs and chatted with the guardian about normal dog communication and any warning signals to be aware of. Copper’s guardian can keep socializing Copper to help him feel comfortable in a variety of places and around other people and animals. We wrapped up this dog behavior session with Copper’s Roadmap to Success video, which you can watch below.

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This post was written by: Sam Kanouse

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