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My dog is a bit wary around other dogs but once she warms up she goes down in the front like she is bowing, tail up in the air, hopping around a bit and... barks right in the other dog's face. The other dogs never seem to mind, they know exactly what she is doing - inviting play, but the owners don't like it. People have walked away from us or called their dogs back. I try to explain that she is just being friendly but now that she's 9mo old her bark is getting pretty deep and loud.

At home she never barks. She doesn't even bark when people come to the door. This is the only time she barks and it bothers me. I don't want people to be afraid of her. Is there a way to break her of this habit without crushing her friendly puppy spirit? Do dogs outgrow this? Is this my problem and I should not care what other dog owners think?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do they do it when they meet other dogs? Like the neighbors dogs or dogs you meet in the park or just with each other.
 

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Personally I wouldn't look at it as that much of a problem. I'm in a similar situation in that my dog play growls on top of playing rough which to a number of dog owners automatically means aggressive. Never mind all the playful body language and that he's NEVER injured another dog he LOOKS 'scary.' Here's a good video I took of him with one of my short term fosters a few weeks ago, 90% of the noise is coming from him and it's all good play.


Now if this is something you care about and makes it harder for you to find dogs for play dates (again if that is important enough to you) then you could probably train your dog not to bark in that situation.
 

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It's normal to me. My dogs do it all the time. I had a couple walk away from me at the dog park because their puppy was being obnoxious and was practically trying to ride my dog. My dog snapped in a corrective way telling the puppy that behavior ain't cool. The way they acted was like I had the most viscous dog in the world. It was their loss and I didn't worry about it.

Dagwell - I loved the video. It's like clash if the titans when my dogs play. And i have very vocal dogs so there is constant barking and snarling. I am sure it sounds like a dog fight to ignorant people when in reality its really fun play.
 

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It's normal to me. My dogs do it all the time. I had a couple walk away from me at the dog park because their puppy was being obnoxious and was practically trying to ride my dog. My dog snapped in a corrective way telling the puppy that behavior ain't cool. The way they acted was like I had the most viscous dog in the world. It was their loss and I didn't worry about it.
Same thing happened to me. A woman acted like Kabota was a monster after he corrected her puppy, who had snapped at him 3 times.

to the OP, it's not a problem. Dogs bark to initiate play, the other dogs are taking it as playful so it's not a problem. You can't control what silly humans do.
 

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How funny, I was discussing this subject just yesterday! My pup acts exactly the same way, and it's unfortunate how some owners can't distinguish between outright playfulness and agression.

We were buying an ear cleaning solution at the vet and upon seeing a small poodle my pup had play bowed, barked, lay down, barked/howled/yodeled some more and tried desperately to crawl towards him/her in order to play, the whole time wagging his tail. I didn't allow him to get close since it's unwise to do so at an animal clinic, poor Niko couldn't understand why I wouldn't let him play with the other dog! The owners were absolutely horrified, picked up their dog and stayed as far away as possible! Sigh.
 

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This makes me feel a little better. The funny thing is that she is so timid she is never involved in rough play. She just like to have small dogs and puppies chase her. I have seen dogs at the dog park snarl and run around with each other going up on two legs. It does seem that they are having fun. When the play gets rough Charlie sits next to me and just watches. Before we got her I had no idea that dog people stop and talk to each other. It is so foreign to me to talk to strangers in a park or on the street. I'm trying to learn the dog parent etiquette. I'll just move on if the people seem put off by Charlie's barking. (I do hope she outgrows it though)
 

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Yeah I don't think it's likely she'll out grow it, it works for her and she thinks it's fun. Unless you try and train her out of it it's likely there to stay. I got Jubel when he was about 2 years old, he wasn't so vocal when we first started going to the dog park but he picked it up. Didn't really bother me and now it's here to stay, though he isn't vocal with all dogs just most.
 

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My pup HATES it when other dogs bark in his face. He won't play with a dog who tries to initiate by barking in his face, it really freaks him out, and he loves other dogs like crazy.
 

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My pup HATES it when other dogs bark in his face. He won't play with a dog who tries to initiate by barking in his face, it really freaks him out, and he loves other dogs like crazy.
And that is when the owner of the barking/vocal dog needs to step up themselves. Most dogs can tell Jubel is being playful even with all his growly noises but some dogs are freaked out by it. If the other dog is put off by it and Jubel doesn't stop on his own I'm right there to call him away or physically remove him if need be. I do not let him harass dogs who don't enjoy his idea of fun, hell I'll even do so if the dog is okay with it but the owners are looking freaked out. In cases of the other dog being okay and only the owners upset I may explain that it's all in good fun and with their consent let the dogs get back to having some fun. Sometimes the owners are willing to listen and other times they maintain their erroneous stance that Jubel is an aggressive monster who shouldn't be let out in public. *shrug*
 

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BTW, @dagwall I just watched the video you posted. Jubel is so freakin' adorable. I love that he's wrestling while holding a squeaky toy in his mouth! XD I should record Colby and Ace playing. Sometimes they get wiiild.
haha there are about 5 or 6 more videos of the two of them up on youtube if you're interested. Bonnie being about 1 year old is still a spazzy puppy and the 5 days she stayed with us was near constant wrestling if they weren't separated. Jubel loved the play but I think was happy to see her go, he's a young 4 years old but keeping up with a 1 year old was a bit annoying to him.
 

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I tend to get discouraged when I go to the dog park because so many people think Sydney is a crazy killing machine because she is so vocal and dang loud!! But I do admit I love watching people's faces when Chloe and Sydney start wrestling with each other at the park. They sound almost evil but there's lots of bouncing and wiggling. They love to flip each other over and pull and be vicious. You can tell the people that understand dogs because they'll smile and go back to watching their own dogs, but the ones that have no clue look at you like you're crazy for letting your dogs attack one another and move away quickly.

People are people and you can't change what they think for the most part. I tell people she's just noisy and if they still freak I call her away and we go find another playmate.
 

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Some folks already posted this, but the body language that you described is called a "Play bow" and it's nearly universally understood by most dogs to be an invitation to play... I don't think that I have ever seen another dog attack a dog that was play bowing. And, yes, the barking along with the bow usually doesn't bother other dogs... it's usually higher pitched... and in the dog's face, but with a soft look, not a hard stare. Don't teach a dog Not to play bow... that's like teaching to stop wagging her tail.

It is possible to separate the bark from the bow, and train Quiet! even during a bow, but you want to be careful.... I don't think that it's worth it... I agree, find other dogs to play with ... there are lots of fish in the sea :)
 
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