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How to Play Tug with Your Dog: The Benefits And What To use - PK9 Gear

How to Play Tug with Your Dog: The Benefits And What To use

How to Play Tug with Your Dog: The Benefits And What To use

Tug of War is not just a simple game for dogs; it’s a fun and engaging way to bond with your dog while providing them with mental and physical stimulation. But how do you make sure you’re playing tug safely and effectively? In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the benefits of playing tug with your dog, choosing the right tug toy, and providing a step-by-step guide on how to play tug with your dog safely and enjoyably. So grab a tug toy, and let’s get started!

Short Summary

  • Playing tug with your dog provides physical and mental exercise, strengthens the bond between you and your dog, and can be used as a reward for desired behaviour during training sessions.

  • Select an appropriate size toy made of French linen or jute that is durable to ensure safety while playing.

  • Establish clear rules using commands such as “Out”, vary games & incorporate training commands to promote positive behaviour & reinforce obedience in dogs.

The Importance of Playing Tug with Your Dog

  • Provides physical exercise
  • Offers mental stimulation
  • Strengthens the bond between you and your dog
  • Promotes healthy behaviour using dog tug toys.

    Additionally, playing tug can replicate the natural behaviour of a chasing and catching prey, which can be employed as a reward for desired behaviour during training sessions.

    Physical Exercise

    Physical exercise is vital for your dog’s overall health and well-being. Playing tug offers an excellent workout for your canine companion, activating their jaw, neck, and shoulder muscles and encouraging jumping and running in a controlled matter.

    By using the best dog tug toys, you can effectively help your dog expend their excess energy while simultaneously providing a fun and engaging activity.

    Mental Stimulation

    Mental stimulation is essential for your dog’s cognitive development. Engaging in a game of tug with your dog can provide mental stimulation by:

    • Exercising their problem-solving skills and decision-making abilities

    • Fostering impulse control

    • Boosting confidence

    • Reinforcing the bond between dog and owner.

    Keeping your dog’s mind active through tug games is crucial for maintaining their cognitive abilities and overall mental well-being.


    Bonding with your dog is essential for a strong relationship, and playing tug can help strengthen that bond. Engaging in tug games can reinforce the relationship between a dog and its owner, creating a positive experience for both parties.

    Allowing your dog to win a game of tug can also increase their enjoyment and encourage their willingness to participate in future games, while still maintaining your role as a proficient leader.

    Promoting Healthy Behaviour

    Playing tug can help promote healthy behaviour in your dog by teaching them impulse control and obedience. Utilizing tug as a reward for other behaviours can be especially motivating for high-drive dogs, making future training tug sessions more effortless. This technique is commonly used by police K9 and military dog trainers.

    Incorporating tug games into your dog’s routine can foster healthy behaviour, such as impulse control and obedience, leading to a well-behaved and happy dog.

    Choosing the Right Tug Toy for Your Dog

    GWA- Heavy Duty Goat Hide Dog Tug Tog - PK9 Gear

    Selecting the right tug toy for your dog is crucial to ensure their safety and provide them with an enjoyable playtime experience. When choosing a tug toy for your dog, consider the following factors:

    • Size: Make sure the toy is appropriate for your dog’s breed and size to prevent potential choking hazards.

    • Material: Choose a tug toy made from durable materials that can withstand your dog’s chewing and tugging.

    • Durability: Look for a tug toy that is built to last and can withstand rough play.

    By considering these factors, you can find the perfect tug toy for your dog that will keep them entertained and safe during playtime.

    Remember always to prioritise your dog’s safety when playing tug, as using an inappropriate chew toy or playing too roughly can lead to injuries.


    The size of the tug toy is essential to prevent potential choking hazards and ensure it’s suitable for your dog’s breed and size. Toys for smaller dogs should be smaller, while toys for larger dogs should be larger.

    Ensuring the right size safe tug toy will not only keep your dog safe, but also provide an enjoyable and engaging experience for both you and your dog.

    Material- French Linen Or Jute

    The PK9 Fug – Ultimate Interactive Dog Tug Toy - PK9 Gear

    When it comes to tug toys, French linen and jute are both popular and durable options. French linen is a synthetic material with medium firmness, while jute is a natural material with a hard firmness. Both materials are highly durable and provide a secure playing experience for your canine companion.


    Mardi Gras 7inch Durafoam Ball On String - PK9 Gear

    Durability is crucial when choosing a tug toy for your dog to ensure it can withstand play and prevent potential choking hazards. When selecting a dog tug toy itself, consider a strong, sturdy material that is resistant to tearing. Additionally, inspect the seams to ensure they are double- or triple-stitched for added durability. 

    How to Play Tug with Your Dog: Step-by-Step Guide

    Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of playing tug and how to choose the right dog toy together, it’s time to learn how to play tug with your dog safely and effectively. A step-by-step guide on how to play tug with your dog includes initiating the game, maintaining control, and ending the game.

    By following these steps and never leaving your dog unattended, you can ensure a fun and engaging experience for both you and your dog.

    Initiating the Game

    To initiate the game, gently pull on the toy and entice your dog to join in. Once your dog has grabbed the toy, maintain a secure grip on one end of the toy while your dog holds onto the other. This will allow you to engage in a safe and enjoyable game of tug, while also building trust and strengthening the bond between you and your dog.

    Playing tug is a great way to provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog. It can also be useful.

    Maintaining Control

    Maintaining control during the game means setting rules, such as no biting and releasing the toy when asked. Teaching your dog the “out” command can be particularly useful in maintaining control during tug games.

    By incorporating training commands such as “out”, “leave it”, and “take it”, you can help your dog learn to obey commands and develop impulse control. This will ensure a safe and enjoyable game for both you and your dog.

    Ending the Game

    This will help to let your dog understand that the game is over and that they have done a good job.

    Common Tug Game Mistakes to Avoid

    By being aware of these potential pitfalls and taking steps to avoid them, you can ensure a positive and successful game of tug with your dog.

    Overly Aggressive Play

    Overly aggressive play can lead to injuries and potential behavioural issues in your dog. Growling, snarling, or resource-guarding too hard during the game can be indications of aggressive play. To prevent overly aggressive play, managing the game and concluding it before it escalates is essential.

    Furthermore, it is beneficial to establish consistent regulations and take safety into consideration.

    Inconsistent Rules

    Inconsistent rules can confuse your dog and make it difficult for them to understand what is expected of them during the game. To ensure clear rules and boundaries are established when playing tug with your dog, always provide consistent commands and reward your dog for following them. This will help maintain a positive and engaging game while reinforcing good behaviour.

    Ignoring Safety Concerns

    Ignoring safety concerns, such as using an inappropriate toy or playing too roughly, can lead to injuries for both you and your dog. To ensure an enjoyable experience and minimize the risk of injury, follow the tips provided in this blog post, such as choosing the appropriate size, material, and durability of your tug toy.

    By prioritizing safety, you can enjoy a fun and engaging game of tug with your dog without any unnecessary risks.

    Tug Game Variations and Tips

    To keep the game of tug fresh and exciting, consider incorporating training commands and building on impulse control. By doing so, you can reinforce obedience and make the game more engaging for your dog.

    With a few simple variations and tips, you can turn a basic game of tug into a fun and rewarding activity that you and your dog can enjoy together.

    Incorporating Training Commands

    Incorporating training commands during tug games can help reinforce obedience and make the game more engaging for your dog. For example, you can say “take it” when offering the toy to your dog, and “drop it” when requesting your dog to release the toy.

    Integrating training commands into your tug game can strengthen obedience and make the game more stimulating for your dog.

    Building on impulse control

    Building on impulse control during tug games can help teach your dog self-control and patience, leading to better overall behaviour. Incorporating training commands such as “out”, “leave it” and “take it” can assist your dog in learning to obey commands and develop impulse control.

    By focusing on impulse control during your tug games, you can encourage your dog to develop good behavior and a strong sense of self-control.


    In conclusion, playing tug with your dog offers numerous benefits, such as physical exercise, mental stimulation, bonding, and promoting healthy behaviour. By choosing the right tug toy, following a step-by-step guide, and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure a fun and engaging experience for both you and your dog. So grab a tug toy and start playing with your best furry friend today!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is it OK to play tug with a dog?

    Playing tug with a dog can be a great activity, as it provides mental and physical stimulation. It also helps dogs learn self-control and build a stronger bond with their owners.

    As long as your dog is supervised and rules are in place, playing tug of war can benefit both you and your pup.

    How long should I play tug with my dog?

    Keep the tugging time to between 10-20 seconds - this is a great training tool and can help teach your dog to drop items when needed.

    This is an important skill for any dog to have, as it can help keep them safe in potentially dangerous situations. It can also help them learn to obey commands and stay focused on tasks.

    How do I get my dog to play with tug toys?

    Encourage your dog to take the tug rope in its mouth, then use excited words and praise to get them playing. Move the toy back and forth for added enticement.

    Why do dogs like playing tug?

    Dogs enjoy playing tug-of-war as it simulates hunting behaviour, is a natural way to play with their siblings and is a great outlet for energy.

    Tug-of-war is a great way for dogs to bond with their owners, as it encourages teamwork and trust. It also helps to build strength and agility and can be a fun way to exercise.


    How do I choose the right tug toy for my dog?

    Choose a tug toy that takes your dog’s size and preferences into account, such tug toys such as ones made from durable materials like French linen or jute.
    We have the perfect tug toy for every dog, with our Fug, Tug Ball, frisbee and standard tug toy

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