The following is an account of actual events that take place in my backyard on a regular basis involving my two dogs – Pit Bull and American Bulldog, and a roommate’s American Staffordshire Terrier. By encouraging this sort of off-leash play with other dogs we have helped to assure that our dogs receive the proper socialization within a safe environment. Dog aggression is always a concern with bully breeds, and we as owners should always take proper steps to assure that our dogs will not be on the receiving end of any unwanted attention resulting from an incident. Bully play groups are always a great option to have the dogs interact within a controlled space, but just as we as humans have people we can not get along with, dogs do too, and owners need to be respectful and mindful of their dog’s particular needs. The following is a description of some of the typical bulldog play fighting our dogs frequently engage in.
The erosion of our grass began in a concentrated area located directly in the middle of our meager plot of land. This is the location where Biz and Tucker perform their nightly acrobatics and dance-fighting display. In case you ever wish to attend this event, it usually begins with the entire pack’s expedition outdoors precisely at dusk – with the spring and winter months being the best time to catch a show. Guapo, being the regular little pup he is, starts this progression with his need to relieve himself. While he scopes out the proper place to spin circles and make his deposit, Biz and Tucker make their way to the dirt stage. The curtain is drawn with both dogs in their starting stance; they stand with their faces side-by-side, butts opposite one another, neither dog looking the other in the eye.
The action starts when one of them (usually Biz, since Tucker is kinda rotund and not very sneaky) makes a quick move to play bite another’s extremity. Biz’s signature move, a.k.a. “the spin”, is a tricky little number that involves him swinging his booty around in a clockwise motion in an effort to hit Tucker in the noggin. He will happily perform the spin while at play when cheered on with words of encouragement such as, “wind it up Biz”! Tucker prefers to take more of a defensive role and can often be found wriggling around on his back or being hit in the skull with Biz’s behind. As you can imagine, this doggy west side story is pretty tiring, and they do take breaks in between rounds by returning to the starting stance. Once in break mode play will only resume if either party moves toward his opponent.
On occasion, Guapo, who’s love of the outdoors can most closely be compared to the kid who never wanted to go out for recess, can be spotted entering the ring in a flurry of excitement. Things really get interesting when this special guest contender finds his way into the ring. The additional number of players causes Biz to wildly execute the spin. Somehow knowing that his chances are greater for landing butt blows, he swirls erratically, no longer concerned with the positioning of his hit. Tucker at this point will play his bully card and use his massive size to bump Biz and Guapo out of his way, all while nibbling and slobbering on their legs (he LOVES to take out legs). Then usually at the peak of wildness, Guapo will hump.
I have no idea what causes him to display this behavior, as they are all fixed male dogs, unless he is trying to assert his dominance. I do know that this behavior is clearly against the showdown rules and regulations, and Biz and Tucker act in unison to expel the offender. Tucker will take out his legs while Biz takes cheap shots at his ever-expanding midsection. Poor Guapo always ends up walking away from the brawls with a shameful look in his eye, but within 2 minutes they are all best friends again, laying in the living room sharing a kong. This is how Pit Bulls were meant to fight.