Looking for a fun little 5 min activity that you can enjoy with your dog after a hectic day? How about tug of war! The game is simple, fun and beneficial for your doggy in many ways. (Also a great way to strengthen the bond you have with your dog)
Some tips to keep in mind:
Rule 1: You decide when to play - not your dog
You want to keep the tug toy stored somewhere only you can access it and bring out the toy when it’s time to play. This will help build tug of war as a reward, and your dog has to behave to get that reward. But if you bring out the toy and your dog grabs it before you initiate the game, put it away and wait for them to calm down before bringing it back out.
Rule 2: Ending command
Use a defining command like “drop it” or calmly tell them “no” and stop the game when you want to finish or take a break! Let them calm down before resuming the game.
Rule 3: Dogs might be super excited
During your first few times you play tug, make sure you teach them the drop command as early as possible. If they don’t (like most dogs, because they’re excited to continue playing and don’t want to stop the game), keep your hand on the toy but don’t tug, and wait for them to let go.
Choosing the toy: For tug of war a good old rope toy works very well! It’s soft and doesn’t hurt your dog’s teeth and at the same time also durable to last through a few games.
Overall, playing tug is a great way to build a better relationship with your dog. It’s a game that dives into natural drives making it physically tiring, mentally stimulating, and just simple fun.
PS - Despite popular misunderstandings, tug does not cause aggression in dogs.
That's all, go play!