Cesar Millan Shares Advice for Rough Pet Play (& When to Intervene)

As pet owners, we’re protective of our four-legged family members. And while there are well-known rules in pet parenthood (like dog park etiquette), there are some gray areas. For example, how aggressive is too aggressive when two or more dogs are playing?

cesar millan rough pet play advice
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Cesar Millan (world renowned dog behaviorist and co-founder of Halo Collar) addressed this issue during an exclusive interview with PureWow. While it varies by dog, Millan revealed that there’s a difference between rough play and aggression. “I suggest knowing your dog’s behavior to help stop aggressive behavior before it starts,” he said. “Dogs may lean forward, growl or even bark.”

If a situation escalates, it’s OK to step in, take a break and then reunite the pups once they’ve both calmed down. “When a dog is playing with other pups, it is also important to take a pause during playtime for a few minutes so the dog can cool off,” Millan added.

cesar millan rough pet play
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The dog behaviorist also explained that animals typically mimic their owner’s behavior. So, if you greet your pet with excitement, it’ll return the favor. “People can influence dogs to behave in a rough manner, especially if they are using their hands, arms or legs while playing with the dog,” he said. “Pet parents should behave in a gentle manner and use toys to play.”

Take note, people.


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...