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Tug of War Day


Tug games can be a great way to bond with your dog and help him build confidence. It can also teach your dog impulse control. When you play tug games with your dog and let him win, it is like letting a toddler win a race. It re-enforces fun and gives your dog a reason to want to play again.

Tug-of-war can be a great training game that will not make your dog aggressive or dominant. As long as you match the dog with the right toy. We know lots of dogs like to play this game because there are so many toy options for them, even in the grocery store. The dogs who are most likely to enjoy this game are herding dogs, bull dogs, and terrier breeds. That doesn’t mean that your poodle won’t want to play every once in a while, just that she may enjoy tug of war less than other games.



There are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to tug-of-war with your dog.

  • Do encourage your dog to pull.

  • Do let your dog win.

  • Do keep in mind the size and strength of your dog. Use resistance for puppies and older dogs.

  • Do praise him every time he wins and brings the toy back to you for more.

  • Do limit the amount of time you spend on this particular activity

  • Do make sure that the toy you are using is long enough to protect your hand from your dog’s mouth.


  • Don’t yank your dog with the toy

  • Don’t pull up on the toy. Without knowing it you could be doing damage to your dog’s neck and spine.

  • Never hang your dog in the air. His paws should be on the ground at all times.

  • Don’t use chains or any kind of mettle to play tug of war, even if you put something soft on the end. You could damage your dog’s mouth and jaw.

Below are some links to articles that might be helpful.

Is Tug-of-War Bad for Dogs? – American Kennel Club (akc.org)

Playing Tug of War Without Encouraging Aggression in Dogs (preventivevet.com)


Some highly recommended toys.

Frisco Plush Squeaking Monkey Dog Tug Toy This one is a 2-in -1 toy

Mammoth Knot Dog Tug Toy

Frisco 5 Knots Dog Tug Rope Toy

Chuckit! Tough Tug Dog Toy This one is also a 2-in -1 toy


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