Dog Play Styles

Thanks to a generous grant from Petfinder Foundation we were able to attend a Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship! Currently at Animal Ark Rescue we run daily playgroups in order to exercise and socialize our dogs. Playgroup helps to decrease kennel stress and cuts down on boredom. Playgroup also gives us valuable information about a dog’s personality and helps us to match dogs with potential adopters.

Does your playful pup need a new best pal? How do you know who to choose? We always recommend in-shelter meet and greet, but if you are browsing our website for a possible match the best place to start is by determining your dog’s play style.

At Animal Ark Rescue, we categorize our groups by play style. What is a play style? Read these descriptions to determine which play best fits your current dog. Some dogs can exhibit multiple play styles, we use their predominant style to determine matches when sorting them into playgroups.

 

Gentle

  •       Very mutual play
  •       Quiet
  •       Frequent starts/stops
  •       Easily becomes nervous

Rough

  •       Mostly mutual
  •       Very Noisy
  •       Very physical: wrestling, grabbing, holding, chasing, tumbling
  •       Can ramp up/escalate in play
  •       Can trigger conflict w/other dogs from play to argument

Push/Pull

  •       Less mutual
  •       Chasing, driving, nipping other dogs (herding behaviors)
  •       Not interested in engaging, prefers to move other dogs around
  •       Can escalate
  •       Often ends in conflict
  •       Handler may need to intervene to keep things polite
  •       Noisy
  •       Needs more handler intervention



Want to know which play styles are compatible? Check out this handy-dandy compatibility chart:

 

Compatibility

Gentle

Rough

Push/Pull

 

Gentle

YES

No

No

 

Rough/Rowdy

No

YES

No

 

Push/Pull

No

No

YES

 

Playgroup provides us with valuable information for adopters. Here are some terms you may see on our doggy profiles under “Playgroup Adopter Info” and what they mean.

 

Dog Social– Candidate for play in dog daycare or public, appropriate/playful with other dogs.

Dog Tolerant– More tolerant than playful, shows no interest in other dogs, but will act appropriate.

Dog Selective– Ok with some dogs, intolerant of others, can play when set-up correctly by humans, not good for unstructured public play.

Dog Defensive– Play with some dogs, reactive to dogs that challenge them, not a candidate for public, unstructured play.

Dog Aggressive– SOLO!!! No other dogs!

 

Keep the activities that you would like to do with your dog  in mind as you browse our adoptable dog profiles. If there is no “Playgroup Adopter Info” listed it means that the dog is new to the shelter and has not been participating in play groups for very long.

 

Don’t be shy about coming by the shelter. Our adoption counselors are ready and waiting to find you a perfect match!

 

Interested in learning more about play group? We always need volunteer help! Play groups run from 8:30am-12pm. Contact us to find out more about becoming a playgroup volunteer.