Dog trainers generally dismiss tug of war as a game that encourages your dog to challenge your leadership, however what the experts don’t tell you is that you can enjoy this whilst maintaining your status as leader of the pack.
Dogs Love Tug of War!
The fact is that dogs enjoy playing this particular game with their owners and others in the pack. Dogs that play this do not necessarily use it as a way to challenge other pack members or their owner, and they certainly will not become competitive solely on the basis of playing it. Its fun and entertaining as it gives your dog a chance to bond with you and exercise their strength.
How to Play Tug of War the Right Way
Dogs love games of resistance – that’s why many pull on a lead! Games of resistance such as tug of war should be played in such a way that your dog understands the rules and that you are always leader of the pack.
Rule #1: Always be the winner. This game can be enjoyable for your dog even when you win every time.
Rule #2: Ensure your dog understands you are the toy’s owner. Even if you occasionally let your dog win, make sure that they understand that the tug toy is yours. In other words, do not allow your dog to become possessive of the toy itself.
Rule #3: If your dog gets hyper-excited and yanks on the tug toy too hard, or won’t stop playing when you command them to do so, you can simply stop playing. After all, it takes two to play and if you stop pulling the game is over.
Children & Tug of War Don’t Mix
Do not allow your children to play these type of games with your dog. Never let children play this or chasing games with your dog as they see children as ‘puppies’ and will try to dominate them, which could lead to problems.
This game can be plenty of fun for you and your dog as long as there are a few boundaries – so enjoy!
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