Maybe you’ve noticed this too. The more you play with your pup– or when your dog gets in a high-energy rassle with their pup friends– the more likely they’ll sneak a sneeze in the middle of their GRRRRs and RUFFs. So why do dogs sneeze when they play?
As it turns out, dogs sneeze to say: “I’m having a great tiiiiime!”
According to dog behaviorist and trainer Katherine Smith, the sneeze is a dog’s signal to the other dog that a rowdy dance/fight play sesh is strictly play– so both dogs know it’s all in good fun. The sneeze is a mark of when your dog “is really loving what you’re doing.”
So our pups have found a weird new way to say, “maybe it LOOKS like we’re fighting, but it’s all cool, we’re buds!!”
You may have your own reasons for loving your dog– their cuddly fur, their perfect faces, their everlasting loyalty. As for me, I love dogs most of all when they’re rowdy. I will literally roll on the floor with any dog (ask my coworkers.) I’ll grab any drooly old raggedy toy and hold onto that thing for dear life if there’s a good game of tug of war to be had. The feistier and rowdier the dog, the more I love ’em. So why do dogs sneeze when playing? They’re just having fun!