Tug-Of-War: How To Find the Right Tug Toy For Your Dog
It doesn’t have to be a battle.
Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)
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?
This Pastel Toy Belongs in a Taylor Swift Music Video
Once your dog gets ahold of this gorgeous toy, they’re gonna “need to calm down” for sure.
The STAPLE and Zee.Dog Collab Has Brought Back an Icon: The Fat Pigeon Toy
Only legends come back better — and sleeker — than ever.
Dog Trainer Robert Haussmann’s Favorite Enrichment Toys
The Wildest Collective expert shares his top toys and tools, from classics Kongs to snuffle mats to slow feeders.
Wild One’s Tennis Tumble Toy is Aces
The cult favorite brand’s first-ever enrichment toy is the ticket to a productive day for remote working pup parents.
9 Fun and Educational Toys for Dogs
Behaviorist Karen London shares her list of must-have toys for dogs.