The Power of Tug with your Dog

Posted on June 29, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Is Tug a bad game to play with my dog?

Will tug make my dog more aggressive?


These are typical questions that people ask and are thinking.

The truth is, if tug is played the right it is not a bad game to play with your dog and it will not make them more aggressive.

-Now this doesn't mean start playing tug with a sweatshirt or a pair of jeans as this may cause your dog to tug at your clothes.

The benefits of tug are listed below, but are not limited to:

-Great for relationship building, showing yourself as a confident leader with your little buddy, because you can start the game, control the game and end the game.

-Great for teaching the dog self-control by making them doing some light obedience during the game.

-Can teach the dog an "out" command, which can become very useful in daily life.

-Calm their restless spirit, especially for the prey type breeds like terriers, etc. If you play tug a couple of times a day with your little buddy, they are less likely to shred apart stuff in the home that you do not want them to.

Look at the videos below, one with Tink and one with Ness. They are at two different stages in the training.

Tink: When we started, she was a maniac with the tug, once the game started started she was not giving up.. well with patience, I was able to teach her a soft "out" command, which she will release while in mid play with the tug.. then she will give me complete attention and do commands that she understands already with a soft voice.(We never raise our voice with the dogs, it's not needed and is not respectful) Then I tought her an "OK" command as well, which means she can engage again. This will help when she finds a home, the owner will be able to tell her what she can engage with and what she can not engage with.

Ness: His owner specified NOT to play tug with him when he had to give him up for adoption. When I first to played with Ness, I learned why the previous owner stated this immediately. However over time, he has started to calm down. I utilize 2 tugs so that I can teach him an "Out" command, which he is starting to learn, but we are building on it. He has already learned the "ok" engage command and he is able to control himself during the game to do "sits" and "downs" which when we started was not an option.

Please look at the videos so you can see the progress of these two. I will keep you updated on both of them.

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