How we play tug with our dog

You may have heard else where that playing "tug" with your dog is not to be messed around with or that it can make your dog 'aggressive'. That's not true. We actually find it to be rather a great mental exercise you can do and a great way to build your relationship with your dog BUT if you DO play tug with your dog, we HIGHLY recommend your dog knows the 'out' command 100% (meaning the dog lets go of the toy on command and understands the reward belongs to you, you control when to start and finish play). We enjoy structured everything in our dogs' life and that includes structured play. For example, this is how we work with Indie during play. I ask her to give me a command such as 'down', she holds the down, I walk away with the toy and she remains in a down. I recall her, make her down again, then say "BREAK" (she now is allowed to bite and tug), I say "OUT" and she lets go of the toy.  This is structured play. She only gets rewarded when she completes something that I ask of her. Everything we do is permission based. When you are done playing, all toys (rewards) should be put away. 

You may have heard else where that playing "tug" with your dog is not to be messed around with or that it can make your dog 'aggressive'. That's not true. We actually find it to be rather a great mental exercise you can do and a great way to build your relationship with your dog BUT if you DO play tug with your dog, we HIGHLY recommend your dog knows the 'out' command 100% (meaning the dog lets go of the toy on command and understands the reward belongs to you, you control when to start and finish play). We enjoy structured everything in our dogs' life and that includes structured play. For example, this is how we work with Indie during play. I ask her to give me a command such as 'down', she holds the down, I walk away with the toy and she remains in a down. I recall her, make her down again, then say "BREAK" (she now is allowed to bite and tug), I say "OUT" and she lets go of the toy.  This is structured play. She only gets rewarded when she completes something that I ask of her. Everything we do is permission based. When you are done playing, all toys (rewards) should be put away. 

Lise LoComment