Play Tug of War

How to Play Tug-of-War With Your Dog

See my video demonstrating how to play tug along with other free videos or in YouTube here.

A. Give your dog an outlet for pent up energy! Develop some intensity here!

  1. grab his skin
  2. grab his ears
  3. grab his tail
  4. lift your dog’s front feet off the ground (be very careful if you do this)
  5. ‘bite’ him using your hand

B. Keep your dog engaged and challenged mentally. Constantly try to keep your dog guessing what your next move is the way dogs play.

  1. grab his tail
  2. touch him in the flank with the toy
  3. make sudden and unpredictable moves

C. Make sure you dictate every aspect of play and that your dog ALWAYS does what you say immediately!

  1. Always play tug with the leash on your dog.
  2. Every minute or so grab the leash and say “Brutus…….DROP IT.”
  3. Make sure you have your dog’s attention before giving the command.
  4. Tell him one time and one time only. If he doesn’t drop it, give him a correction.
  5. If he still doesn’t drop it, pry the toy out of his mouth.
  6. Once you have the toy praise your dog.
  7. Then say “Brutus…….LEAVE IT” and drop the toy in front of your dog.
  8. Do NOT hold your dog back! The leash must remain loose.
  9. Give a correction if needed, but your dog should stay back on his own.
  10. Repeat this by picking up the toy and dropping it again and saying “Brutus…….LEAVE IT.”
  11. ALWAYS make sure you walk away with the toy at the end of the play period.
  12. Put the toy somewhere else, NOT in your dog’s box of toys.
  13. Even if it’s his chew toy and he gets it back 15 minutes later, you walk away with it.
  14. I don’t leave tug ropes out. Dogs usually chew them up. I only bring them out to play.
  15. Use your dog’s name rather than ‘Brutus’.


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