Dogs have lots of ways of inviting other dogs to play. Perhaps the most widely known of these is the play bow. But how do we know that crouching gesture is an indication of a desire to play? Amazingly, thousands of hours of footage of dogs interacting were studied,to reveal that when dogs crouch down with their butt in the air in a particular way, they inviting another dog to play. More than that, they tell the other dog that are not intending to hurt them when they launch off into something that to you may look fierce and aggressive.
What follows is an article I wrote for the magazine of the the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.