Tug of War, which is tugging with a dog using a toy, is one of the most basic and fun games we can play. Yet, some authorities will give a list of reasons why dogs should not tug. We’re looking at those reasons, what dogs should not tug, and the five most common mistakes people make with tugging. For most dogs, not only is it okay to play tug, but it’s also critically important.

In the episode you'll hear:

  • Why some dogs should not be tugging.
  • How tugging can help you avoid behavior problems with a puppy.
  • The reasons given about why dogs should not play tug.
  • How sporting dogs with a soft mouth can enjoy tugging and still retrieve.
  • The connection made between growling and a dog being dominant.
  • How to help dogs who are resource guarding.
  • What you need to know about arousal, redirection, and boundaries.
  • How tugging improves your relationship with your dog.
  • Why dogs need to let go of the toy when you ask.
  • About my number one rule when playing tug.
  • The emergency stop to use if a dog makes contact with skin or clothing.
  • How tugging creates clear communication between you and your dog.
  • Why the arousal state of a dog when tugging helps with distractions.
  • The reasons to make safety a priority.
  • How to play tug so that you and your dog can have fun.

Resources:

Episode Transcript