First of all...let us clarify that we do not believe that playing tug with our dogs causes aggression or any such misbehaviour. We must add, however, that by not teaching the dogs appropriate tugging etiquette, we may arouse them into rough play, so we must train them accordingly and play willingly this wonderful game.
So first up, let's talk about tugging etiquette:
- The dog needs to know how to take things from our hands
- The dog needs to know how to drop things from its mouth when asked to
- The dog needs to learn that the game ceases when it goes for the hand or jumps on the human
- The toys should not always be lying around either. These should excite the dog and be brought out when we want to engage in play and that not all objects in your hands are tug-worthy
- This applies to humans - please tug from L-R and not up-down to prevent injuries to the dog
Now, that is clear, let us get onto the benefits of playing tug!
- It is a fantastic bonding game. The energies match and the dog loves this!
- It is a 100% guaranteed way to teach "drop it" & "take it"
- It is a great mental & physical workout for your dog. A fantastic workout for rainy days
- It is a good alternative for puppies that are in their chewing/teething phase. Of course, one needs to play gently at this age .
- Our favourite is that this is a wonderful way to teach the dog impulse control by not jumping at us, lunging or barking to get their mouths on what we carry
So it is time we add this game to our kitty of activities for us to play and engage our furry buddies. Not to forget the sculpted arms that will come our way when we play this game!