Last updated: 30 Aug, 2021
Published on: 1 Apr, 2014
Do you speak dog? The Play Bow
What is your dog saying when they drop in a bow?
“You look like a lot of fun, let’s play”
In the dog world, the ‘play bow’ is a clear indication that your dog wants to play. By bringing their front legs to the ground, in a ‘bow’, your dog is inviting a friend to play. Whether it’s a game of chase or a doggy wrestle, your dog is letting his friends know that his behaviour from this point on should be considered playful and fun.
In some dogs, the play bow will be obvious, and in others, it may be the briefest of signals. It really depends on the dog and the situation. Imitating the play bow yourself (by coming down on all fours and placing your hands and forearms on the floor) can be a great way of inviting your dog to play with you. Most dogs will recognise your body language and understand you want to have some fun!