Some people may tell you that playing tug of war with your puppy is a bad idea. We disagree completely, as long as you follow some clear guidelines. Tug of war can actually be used to help you raise a friendly well adjusted dog with great manners. Please review our tips below:
Play Gently! Puppy teeth are not strong. Puppy teeth can easily be damaged or even pulled out, so it is important to play at an appropriate level. You should never pull harder than the puppy does and you should never pull the toy away from them. Keep in mind that sharp little puppy teeth often get caught in the toy and care needs taken when removing the toy from their mouth.
Only use one toy for tug or war. The reason for this tip is that it teaches your pup that you don’t play tug of war with everything they find. They will learn that you only tug on one toy and that nothing else is used for tug. You don’t want to be playing tug of war when they find a dead bird in a few months!
Keep the toy put up when not is use. This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. You don’t want your puppy learning that they can engage you in tug of war constantly. This is a game that should be played in moderation at a time of your choosing!
Teach a perfect “drop it” command! One advantage to playing tug of war is that it is a great time to teach your pup how to drop objects on command. Once they learn how to drop a toy during a spirited game of tug of war they are way more likely to drop objects in other situations.
Don’t allow “regripping”! Regripping is when you pup lets go of the toy and then jumps to bite and grab it again. Many people are accidentally bit when a dog tries to regrip the toy. Our advice is to stop this behavior immediately each time you see it.
There you have it! 5 quick tips for playing tug of war with your pup!