Tug-of-War: Let the Games Begin

Some people caution against playing tug of war with your dog saying it can make them “aggressive”. I disagree. With a couple of rules, tug-of-war can make a fun game for you and your dog! Check out the tips and rules below and get ready for a fabulous boredom buster.

Tug-of-war Tips:

  • *If your dog guards his toys/objects, do NOT play this game. Contact Patrice@ingoodpawsdt.com for help!
  • This is an adult only game. Young kids usually cannot implement the rules well enough and it can get out of hand. Safety first!
  • Teach your dog a “drop it” before playing.
  • Use a long toy so each of you have your own place to grip the toy. Playing tug with a ball or small toy is just asking to get a painful (though accidental) bite.

Tug-of-War Rules:

  • Start the game by inviting your dog to take the toy.
  • Tug for 10-15 seconds with your dog. Some growling/other vocalization is normal for many dogs.
  • Freeze, still holding the toy, and tell your dog to “drop it”.
  • Once they release the toy, ask for a sit.
  • Repeat!
  • If you’re dog EVER (even accidentally) gets your hand with their teeth, immediately end the game. No need for yelling, etc. Simply put the toy away and ignore them for a time. This will quickly teach them to be careful about where they put their mouths.

That’s it! Creating a simple structure around this game can make it a great way to have fun and practice a little self control with “drop its” and “sits” thrown in here and there.

*If you are concerned that your dog is behaving aggressively during this game, stop immediately. Contact Patrice@ingoodpawsdt.com for help!*