Dog play is play, right? 
Rolling, wrestling, chasing. It should be simple. Let the dog off leash to go interact with his buddies.

Not all play is the same. Not all dogs play the same way. Dogs have preferences for play styles just as we have preferences for how we play. Some of us like baseball. Others prefer soccer, football or tennis.  There are contact sports and non contact sports.

The same might be said of dogs and play. Some like to chase (herding breeds) or be chased. Some like to use their paws (Boxers). Some like to body slam (Labs) – over and over. Some like to wrestle. 

Some dogs prefer the roll of Play Police and will interrupt play. Some dogs simply like to watch the action from the sidelines.

There is a big variety, as you can see. What’s important to understand is one play style does not fit all.  Watch your dog. Pay attention to what he enjoys doing with you and with others. 

If a dog tries to engage him in a game of chase, does he play along? Or does he signal he’s not interested? 

My late Westie and my Beardie do not like to play with Boxers or Labs. Westie was a dog who played the role of Play Police. He would watch from the sideline and when he thought things were getting out of control, he would step in.

My Beardie prefers to play tug with me but will engage in an occasional game of chase with another dog.

As dogs age, the desire or need to play with others changes or diminishes. For some dogs this never happens ☺  
Not all dogs enjoy or want to play. Some are very content to watch quietly. They are not all social butterflies.

Enjoy the dog you have. Discover what he loves to do and provide opportunity for it to happen.

If you want to read more about play and dogs check out the book “Play With Your Dog” by Pat Miller, CPDT, CDBC.