Puppy Play Bows Don’t Always Mean the Same Thing – #365papers – 2017 – 93

#365papers for April 3, 2017

Byosiere, Espinosa, Marshall-Pescini, Smuts, and Range, 2016, Investigating the function of play bows in dog and wold puppies (Canis lupus familiaris, Canis lupus occidentalis): PLOS one, v. 11, e0168570.

What’s it about?

Dog owners are familiar with the friendly play bow of their dogs, with the front legs outstretched and the rump high in the air. Where pet dogs are concerned, this is usually associated with playing – the kind of playing that doesn’t look much like playing but more like two dogs are going to kill each other. Ok, well maybe just my dogs.

Wolves (adults and puppies) also use the play bow. The question posed by the authors is what purpose does the play bow serve.

Why does it matter?

Given how closely related both dogs and wolves are, it’d be interesting to understand what purpose the bow plays and if both groups use it the same way. (It turns out they don’t.)

Why did I read this?

Because, dogs. My dogs. My fuzz-butts. I love them!


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