Be a Smart Referee
Dog supervisors should keep an eye out for any type of behavior that looks aggressive, including excessive snarling, growling, biting, humping, or play that gets too rough. And don’t be afraid to ask rowdy dogs to leave.
“I would advise owners in advance that if for any reason their dog is showing any unacceptable behavior (too tough play etc.), they will be excused. Most owners are good with that,” says Johnson.
Dodman adds that sometimes, a time out will suffice.
“The dogs can be allowed back together when both have calmed down,” he says. To prevent aggressive play, he suggests asking an incoming owner if there are any behaviors to watch out for, like food aggression, constant barking, digging, etc.
While play dates are a great excuse for owners to bond, it’s important that you occasionally look up from your chatter to police any situations that occur.
“Part of the fun of hosting a dog playdate is the dog parents getting together. Just limit the number of glasses of wine,” jokes Petty.
And be relaxed, as dogs can pick up on your energy. “After all, the point is to have fun with your dog,” says Johnson.