What Exactly Is Dog Bowing?

What Exactly Is Dog Bowing?

Author WDF Staff


As a dog owner, you may catch your dog exhibiting some things you will not know what they mean. One of those behaviors is bowing. Dogs use bowing as a form of communication. With bowing, they will communicate with other dogs, humans, and even other animals. This is a behavior that every dog does, and when you see your dog bowing, you have nothing to worry about.

Why do dogs bow?

A different name for dog bowing is "play bowing," which means exactly what you think. Dogs will start bowing when they are ready to play. Bowing can occur from one dog or both dogs and will serve as an invitation to play.

If you are unsure what bowing looks like, dogs will stretch their front legs and lean on their elbows. It will look like your dog is trying to lie down, but his butt will remain in the air. Many times bowing can be accompanied by tail wagging and even barking. These are all good signs, and you have nothing to worry about.

dog bow

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Why is dog bowing important?

The play bow is an important part of every dog's life since it communicates with others. It shows that dogs' intentions are purely clean and that there isn't anything aggressive. You'd be surprised when you learn that even dogs that tend to be aggressive can show this behavior. Because of that, it is important dog behavior cause even aggressive dogs can say: "Hey, let's play" without the danger of things escalating.

What to do if playing becomes rough?

Some dogs are known to play rough, and things could escalate quickly. If the play started with a play bow, in most cases, you have nothing to worry about. Even if your dog starts to play a little aggressively, they are still playing, and you shouldn't interrupt them. Dog bowing will indicate that neither dog is planning to show aggressiveness towards another dog.

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Can dogs bow in front of humans?

Of course – yes. Bowing will serve as an invitation for humans to play. If your dog bows in front of you, the best thing you can do is to accept the call and start playing. You don't want to hurt your dog's feelings. It doesn't matter what game you will play; it is important to them that you play anything.

Will all dogs bow?

Yes, all dogs can show this behavior, whether big, strong, or dominant. You'd be surprised that even an alpha dog can also exhibit bowing in front of other dogs indicating that they are ready to play. Dog bow is regularly used in dogs' worlds, and it is a clear message that all dogs understand; from this point forward, you will also understand what it means when you see some dogs bowing next time.

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