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Tug-Of-War: How To Find the Right Tug Toy For Your Dog

It doesn’t have to be a battle.

by The Wildest Editors
September 22, 2022
A close up shot of a dog biting on a tug of war dog toy outside in a grassy lawn.
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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.

Wild One Triangle Tug in blue

Keeping your puppy entertained is no walk in the park (except when it literally is). When they lose their interest in interactive toys (probable) or finish chewing through your last set of shoe laces (inevitable), you’re going to need a backup. In comes Wild One’s Triangle Tug toy, which engages your pup’s chomping instincts in a healthy way. It’s made of natural rubber with a reinforced core, so it won’t be destroyed within minutes of use. Plus, it’s pretty.

$16 at Wild One
orange tug toy

This interactive toy is non-toxic, made of rubber, and durable enough to withstand the force of your pup’s fangs. The pull tab handle makes for easy playtime with your dog and will engage them in some serious exercise while strengthening your bond. Who wouldn’t want to sit on the floor for half an hour spending with their pup? You might even get an upper body workout out of it.

$19 at Amazon

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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