Class Length: 1 hour
Class Size:  3 - 6 dogs
Cost:  $25 + tax (cash, cheque, or e-transfer)

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All too often, dog owners misread the language of dogs interacting with one another. Whether it's incorrectly defining innocent play as dangerous fighting or taking too lightly what is actually aggressive behavior, it is important to learn what dogs are saying to each other through their play.

Dog-to-dog play is a series of active and repetitive behaviors that have different meanings when performed in other contexts, but helps dogs develop important life skills and experiences that promote good physical and mental health.

Because play relies on the ability to read vocal and body signals, dogs that do not have the opportunity to play are usually deficient when it comes to communicating and identifying these signals. Play is, after all, mock battle, so dogs that tend to play rudely, body slamming, mouthing too hard, mounting and generally causing mayhem can provoke negative reactions in others.

The beauty of play is that for most dogs the desire to interact with others in such a manner continues into adulthood. Play works well when both dogs know the rules, maintain a low level of arousal and are willing to win and lose the game. Play might become quite vocal and this is usually ok unless the level of vocalizations increase and/or one dog is giving appeasement signals and trying to get away. If the other dog recognizes these signals and backs off, there is a good understanding between players, but if the signals are ignored, human intervention is usually needed. Understanding how dogs play ensures that play remains a fun and healthy activity for everyone.