When your puppy wants to play, he probably won’t try to play it cool. Instead, he’ll make a strong play for your attention by bowing or pawing the air.
The play-bow is the most common way that a dog invites a person or another pup to play. With his ears alert and tail wagging, a dog will stick his rear in the air while lowering his front end and stretching out his front paws. The gesture shows submissiveness, and communicates to other dogs that any nipping or chasing that come next are intended in the spirit of fun. During the play bow, a dog’s face will be relaxed and his lips loose – his teeth will not be bared in aggression. Sometimes a playful pup will also bark, as if to say in doggie-speak, “hey, come join me in a game!”