How to Play Tug-of-War With Your Dog
A. Give your dog an outlet for pent up energy! Develop some intensity here!
- grab his skin
- grab his ears
- grab his tail
- lift your dog’s front feet off the ground (be very careful if you do this)
- ‘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.
- grab his tail
- touch him in the flank with the toy
- make sudden and unpredictable moves
C. Make sure you dictate every aspect of play and that your dog ALWAYS does what you say immediately!
- Always play tug with the leash on your dog.
- Every minute or so grab the leash and say “Brutus…….DROP IT.”
- Make sure you have your dog’s attention before giving the command.
- Tell him one time and one time only. If he doesn’t drop it, give him a correction.
- If he still doesn’t drop it, pry the toy out of his mouth.
- Once you have the toy praise your dog.
- Then say “Brutus…….LEAVE IT” and drop the toy in front of your dog.
- Do NOT hold your dog back! The leash must remain loose.
- Give a correction if needed, but your dog should stay back on his own.
- Repeat this by picking up the toy and dropping it again and saying “Brutus…….LEAVE IT.”
- ALWAYS make sure you walk away with the toy at the end of the play period.
- Put the toy somewhere else, NOT in your dog’s box of toys.
- Even if it’s his chew toy and he gets it back 15 minutes later, you walk away with it.
- I don’t leave tug ropes out. Dogs usually chew them up. I only bring them out to play.
- Use your dog’s name rather than ‘Brutus’.