The Psychology Behind Why Dogs Love to Play With Other Dogs

The Psychology of Dogs Playing With Other DogsWhy does it seem that most dogs love to play with other dogs? What’s the psychology behind that?

Play actually has several functions. Researchers have studied dog play to try and figure it out. They’ve come up with theories and found evidence to support some of them.

Play Helps With Motor Skills

One theory of why dogs like playing with other dogs is to help them learn motor skills. When they’re young puppies, play serves an important function. By chasing each other, rolling around together, mounting one another, and picking up objects with their mouth, puppies are learning and refining their motor skills. For instance, a puppy will learn how hard they can bite their playmates– how hard is too hard? Meanwhile, they’ll learn how to move their bodies, as well as how to acquire food and even how to defend themselves in fights.

Improvement in Balance

Another theory is that dog play allows dogs to train for unexpected things to happen. Through play, a dog learns how to right his or her body when knocked off balance unexpectedly. Also, if and when someone or something startles them, a dog learns how to react. There are changes in the brain and hormone levels when a dog gets surprised. Their bodies learn how to cope with stressors through play.

Social Cohesion

What about social cohesion? Dogs play with each other in order to promote social cohesion. Just like humans play together to “get along,” so do dogs. And like humans, dogs prefer to play with other dogs they “know.” Playtime helps build cooperative relationships.

Miscellaneous Reasons

Overall, dogs play with other dogs for several reasons. Play helps develop motor skills, builds social cohesion, and prepares them for unexpected surprises.

At D’Tails Grooming, when we board dogs we allow them to play with one another in a supervised environment. Indeed, D’Tails offers a full array of boarding and playdate options for your pets. We believe in having a welcoming environment where dogs feel free to socialize with other dogs.  With beds throughout the facility, there’s always a comfy place to rest if needed. Basically, at D’Tails, there’s opportunities for dogs to run and play, both indoors and outside, all the while being watched and cared for by qualified, caring staff. For more info, please call D’Tails of Augusta, GA, at 706-731-0089 or email

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