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The Scoop

Your dog's trying to tell you something! (It’s not always what you think!)

Decode “downward dogs”, rollovers, perky ears, and side-eyes like an expert “dog whisperer”.


Dogs have always worn their feelings on their proverbial sleeves—their whole bodies are speaking, from their expressive ears to their wild wagging tails.

We all understand extremely basic dog language—a wag is “yes”, a growl and bared teeth is “no.” So lesson two! How do you say “wanna play?”

The “Let’s Play” Bow

You’ll catch your dog “bowing” to you and other dogs (if your pup is an extrovert). See what happens if YOU try it. Get down, shoot your rump up, put your elbows on the floor, and look at your dog with your muscles ready for anything—chances are, your canine companion will rocket right into playtime. Congrats, you’re speaking the language.

To add conversational nuance, watch ears, paws, and posture for these basic messages:

Next, we introduce another key phrase—“I don’t want to play.” This sentence is spoken in many forms—by a dog who is terrified, tired, on high alert, or just unsure. Getting these signs? Distance your pooch from the distraction, and wait for a better time.

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To get your dog back into the playtime mindset, let them gnaw it out—most dogs release stress and crank up endorphins with a solid chewing session on tough toys like Hurley and Rumpus.

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When you know what your furbeast is saying—without so much as a yap—it can help you just know when to play, when to wait, when to give buddy a bone, and when to quit. You know, basic dog whisperer stuff.


Next up in our series:
pairing your pup’s unique personality to the style of recreation they need most.

The one do-everything toy to always have on hand

It’s simple, it’s small, and it’s always a winner—Jive hits the spot when you need a crazy bounce to keep chase-happy dogs entertained and when you need extra toughness to let revved-up doggoes chew their way to bliss. Plus, when you’re pooped but your dog isn’t, Jive fits in a standard ball launcher—whew.

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