Tug-Of-War: How To Find the Right Tug Toy For Your Dog
It doesn’t have to be a battle.
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As kids, we learned that playing tug is pretty much a bad idea. One team is always stronger than the other, and someone ends up crying at the school nurse’s office with a bag of ice strapped to their arm. If you’re a dog, though, the rules are different.
Tug is a great game for most dogs, and they can learn a lot from playing it. Many trainers share this view and actually teach tug in puppy classes. The earlier dogs learn the lessons that tug has to offer — such as impulse control, mouth control, and cooperation, as well as skills, such as “take it” and “drop it” — the safer and more fun the game becomes.
For a long time, experts advised against playing tug with dogs for fear that it would create or increase aggressiveness in dogs. Later, tug was considered fine for most dogs, as long as they were not allowed to “win” by keeping the toy at the end. The current thinking is that dogs, like people, understand it’s just a game.
For most dogs, tug has many benefits, as long as you check with your behaviorist and veterinarian first that it is an appropriate and safe activity. It is interactive and requires cooperation between humans and dogs. It can give dogs exercise and help them stretch their bodies prior to other activities, such as running or agility training.
Here are eight rope toys that will excite any tug-obsessed pup.
Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?
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