Why Is My Dog Grabbing Other Dogs Neck And Shaking?

Why Is My Dog Grabbing Other Dog’s Neck And Shaking? 

Generally, dogs are natural hunters. They grab them by the neck whenever they find suitable prey and shake firmly. That firm shake will snap the unfortunate creature’s neck. But why do dogs do this to other dogs? That’s what we try to find out.

So, Why is your dog grabbing other dog’s neck and shaking? Although it looks aggressive, it is purely just fun if the two dogs are friends. It’s harmless, and there’s no need for you to interrupt this and separate the two dogs. But, there are situations that you need to be highly concerned about, especially if this pure fun turns into a fight.

Why Is My Dog Grabbing Other Dog’s Neck And Shaking?

Have you ever watched while two dogs are playing? It might start with an innocent look, but after a while, they will up the play; when they do, all the dog owners will get concerned about the sounds and actions going around. But, if the two dogs are good friends, there’s nothing to be afraid of. 

Although that’s true, there are times when you need to be very careful. Especially if you’re at a dog park and an unfriendly pooch enters the territory.

Yet, if you fail to get a hold of the pet, the angry doggo will take the first chance he could to drive the unwelcoming friend away. 

Moreover, there’s also a chance for a friendly play to turn into a fierce fight. So you need to analyze your pet’s behaviors and actions and be ready to interfere if things are going south quickly.

To understand why your dog is grabbing other dog’s neck and shaking, you need to concentrate on all subtle body language and mood changes before and during the play. 

If you ever notice your dog grabbing other dog’s neck and shaking (or vice versa), you need to clear out if it’s just fun or if there’s anger and aggression involved.

If their so-called “play” does include aggression, never waste even a second without removing your friend from the other dog. In instances like these, it’ll be effortless for you if the canine is used to obeying your voice. 

Do Dogs Play By Biting Each Other’s Neck?

Yes. Whenever you see your dog grabbing other dog’s neck and shaking, if the two dogs are friends, you don’t need to worry most of the time.

Because it’s normal during any dog play, it’s also a sign of strong social skills in your dog. Sometimes, you might even get worried whenever you see this play, but it’s natural.

Yet, keep in mind to watch their body language closely if things take a wrong turn. 

Check if their activities are in sync to identify the differences between playful neck biting and rough play. If both dogs interact in action and behave the same way, they must enjoy their time together. 

Let me tell you another way to identify these two apart. Have you seen a dog bowing to another dog during play? His back will be up in the air with a wagging tail while his chest almost touches the ground.

They bow to each other whenever one does something that might anger the other dog involved in the play. If they do that, your dog grabs other dog’s neck and shakes for fun. 

Let me give you more information about differentiating fun neck grabbing and aggravated fights.

  • Continuous Loud Growlings 

Sounds emitted by the dogs at a fun play are way louder and scarier than fighting. Therefore if the pair of dogs are being concerningly loud, it’s a sign of them having a good fun play.

  • Being Vulnerable Voluntarily 

When dogs are fighting, neither will want to appear vulnerable to the opposite party.

But you have nothing to worry about during play if your doggo and the other friend are too weak, occasionally letting the other capture them. They are vulnerable by themselves just for the sport.

  • Stiff Bodies

During actual fights, doggo’s body will be rigid as a stick, and the friendly wave in their tails will disappear. You need to come in between as soon as possible before any worse happens. 

  • Warning Growls With Snarling Lips

Dogs never snarl at others if they are really in a happy mood. They’ll have big silly open-mouthed smiles when playing while having tight-lipped low warning growls at fights. 

Besides the synced behaviors and low friendly bows, you can efficiently identify nice play and angry fights if you pay more attention to the facts mentioned above.

Why Does My Dog Grab My Other Dog’s Neck? 

Do you have more than one dog at home? Then you must be familiar with your dog grabbing other dog’s neck and shaking. If you have well-socialized your pets at a younger age, your canines must be getting along just fine.

Therefore, occasional growling and neck biting are a part of showing affection: they’ll bite each other’s necks and ears and put their teeth through other canines’ fur. 

It shows and signals trust, affection, and love between them. You should never stop these kinds of fun and comforting acts of your pets as they calm all your pets.

That’s why we always pressure you to understand how to properly identify between friendly play and aggression whenever your dog grabs other dog’s neck and shakes.

How Do I Teach My Dog To Be Friendly With Other Dogs?

You have the chance to minimize or eliminate angry neck bites and fights initiated by your doggo.

There are only a few steps to ensure your dog’s and others’ safety when they meet. Let me walk you through it. 

  • Dog Parks Are Not For Every Dog

Yes. Anybody can take their fluffy friends to the dog park. But everybody must understand that not every dog can visit these parks. Why? 

Suppose your pet is anger-driven and does not obey your words 100%. Also, imagine the pooch is very territorial and has a history of getting into fights whenever the chance is granted.

Then, unfortunately, your dog is not very suitable for the dog park. 

  • Use Positive Reinforcement

Whenever your dog does something terrible, never try to intimidate him or dominate him with raised voices and punishments.

But reward your dog whenever he obeys your voice, walks next to your feet, etc., then your doggo will understand that if he behaves better, he gets a tasty treat.

  • Go For A Stroll Next To The Park’s Fence

Before going into the park, try walking next to the fence and let the pup look at other dogs. If he reacts calmly, give him a treat as encouragement. 

Early socialization also plays a massive role in keeping your dog calm while he’s among many other dogs.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your favorite dog breed. Cheers!


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

    [email protected]

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