Friday, May 24, 2013

Play Tug with Your Dog Instead of Tug of War

Tug of War sounds pretty cool but it could lead to bad habits with your puppy. If she likes to play tug with her toys there is nothing wrong with a good game of tug just be sure you are not teaching her to be rough and aggressive.

My dog loves to tug with his toys and we play tug all the time. If he brings me his toy and I see that he wants to play I take the toy from him and say, "Take it." He will grab the toy while I hold onto it and the game begins! We go back and forth and travel around the living room all while having fun. I am very careful in tugging as I would not want to hurt his mouth or teeth. I tell him to "drop it" or "give" and when he does I pick it up and toss it across the room. He will bring it back and the game begins all over.

If you are playing with a puppy, you will need to teach her how to play tug as described above. You can use a treat and praise her when she drops the toy in the middle of play. Treats usually reinforce a behavior quickly. It will also let her know that she is pleasing you and you will stay in charge of the game. When you are ready to end the game, YOU want to be the one with the toy in your hand.

I like to use a toy that is soft, sturdy and can be thrown easily in the house. Our favorite dog toy for this has been Larry, the mail man. Check him out...he is pretty cool dog toy.

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