Bitey Face is Dog Thumb Wrestling – Wordless Wednesday

Have you ever watched a pair of dogs playing bitey face?

No, I mean REALLY watched them.

Are you aware that bitey face is really just thumb wrestling for dogs?

One feints with his mouth open. The other tries to lure him in. Back and forth they go, teeth flashing, each one trying to draw the other closer.

Let me show you:

Honey the Golden Retriever and Scooter the foster puppy play bitey face on the couch.

Just come one inch closer – I can put your whole head in my mouth.

Honey the Golden Retriever and Bandit the foster puppy play bitey face.

Ok, I’ll crouch a little so you can reach me. But don’t expect me to let you win.

Now let’s look at the real thing.
Thumb wrestling.
See? It’s just bitey face without teeth.
Your Turn: Do your dogs play any games that you’ve looked at in a new way?

photo credit: jeffisageek via photopin cc

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  1. I think bitey face is a lot more fun! woo woo!

  2. We used to laugh at Morgan and Küster because they’d play bitey face until they were moving in slow motion. They never seemed to get tired of it, until Küster got too big for his britches!

    • I saw an interesting post on dog play recently talking about different play styles. But it never mentioned bitey face.

      Honey would probably bark at Morgan and Kuster mid-bitey face until she lured one of them away to play it with her. :)

  3. It’s really fun to watch with three wieners involved. I’m glad you showed this….some people think their dogs are fighting, when they’re just playing. Good analogy!

    • It can be scary to the uninitiated. Especially when you have vocal dogs who bring plenty of sound effects to the game.

      I would LOVE to see a video clip of a 3 way wiener bitey-face. Please tell me you have some. :)

      We usually see it with dogs unevenly matched in size since we mostly foster puppies.

  4. We never thought of it that way. I wonder what the cat equivalent is.

  5. Never thought of it that way, but I think you’re right.

  6. What a great analogy! Lucas and Cooper play a rousing game of bitey face. They’re both incredibly vocal, which definitely scares anyone who hasn’t witnessed it before! Per the Paw Relartions comment… Coop tried bitey face with Newt, the cat, only once. Once was enough, and he got the scratch to prove it!

  7. We played those bitey face games a lot when I was younger, not we play more chase and wrestle.

  8. LOL! Cute comparison. :) When Maya plays keep-away with Pierson, the fun can resemble tackle football.

  9. Kelly never played bitey face until Ike. He is much younger than Brooks and our previous dog Hudson, both of whom Kelly lived with, and he wants to play. I have to watch Kelly carefully because I’m not sure she understands the rules, and she wants to literally bite Ike’s face.

  10. I always worry they will hurt each other, but it does look like these two are having fun.

  11. TheArdentDog says:

    Bitey face in my home, the with 100lbs + crew, sounds like Grizzlies fighting. (And a sharp nosed sheltie chipmunk cheering them on from the sidelines.) But it’s all in fun and a great way for me show normal, health play to my training clients.

  12. LOL. Great observation!

  13. LOL That’s too cute! I’d rather thumb wrestle than bitey face. It scares me! :)

  14. I love it! You’re so right!

  15. never thought of it like that before!

  16. You Are Brilliant!!!

  17. Our Sally used to do this slow-motion bitey face/make out session with her boyfriend Rudy, a big Borzoi. It was fun until somebody got pregnant…just kidding but it was pretty heated sometimes, if you know what I mean.

  18. Frankie loves playing bitey-face with foster dogs and it’s so interesting to watch … I do supervise all play with foster dogs just in case! Beryl will occasionally deign to play bitey-face with him but not often.

    I lead such a sheltered life I don’t even know what thumb wrestling is, although I think I’ve figured it out. Must put it on my bucket list, could be fun with the right person!

  19. That is hilarious! Great perspective.

  20. I play bitey face with the cats, but they use their paws. They never put their claws out when we’re playing.

  21. Interesting comparison! When Medi plays this with Leah she can pretty much cram her entire head in Leah’s mouth. We call it playing “Lion Tamer.” :-)


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