Scientists are constantly discovering weird and wonderful new facts about dogs. For instance, did you know that puppies have a special signal that means ‘let’s play at fighting!’
A puppy sends the signal by dropping on to its front paws and lowering its head towards another puppy. Having done this it will then lunge towards the other dog and start fighting.
Studies suggest that puppies have evolved this piece of body language so that siblings – and other dogs – know they are not being aggressive. In effect, the dog is saying: ‘Don’t take this seriously, I’m only fooling around!’
Puppies sometimes repeat the signal during a play fight , especially if it gets very physical.
Fighting is by far the most popular form of play amongst puppies. Most games involve biting at pawing at one another. One study found that puppies bit each other in 87 per cent of their games.
It’s perhaps little wonder then, that some puppies don’t like to play. Another study found that when one dog invites another one to play it only gets a positive response 77 per cent of the time. Obviously, the other 23 per cent of puppies have heard how violent their playmates can get.
For more odd and interesting scientific facts about man’s best friend you should read ‘“Play It Again Tom: Curious Truths About Cats And Dogs’ by Augustus Brown.”