Playing Tug-of-War with your dog may create some unintended consequences.
Today, discover how this seemingly innocent game can cause your dog to test its place in the hierarchy.
In this episode, you will learn some fun games to play with your dog that reinforce your position as TOP DAWG.
- Tug-of-War could create some behaviors you don’t like.
- The game of Tug-of-War is about control—not about winning .
- Myth busted! – This game is about who wins – NOT!
- Be aware of some possible outcomes from playing this game with your dog.
- Mainly men play Tug-of-War with their dogs.
- Bennie will encourage owners to play this game with dogs who are shy, submissive or are showing a lack of confidence, as this game can help build their confidence.
- In order for this game to work properly. it has to be played properly.
- If you continue to win every time against your dog, you can actually break their spirit.
- Allowing your dog to win will build their confidence.
- Pay attention to how your dog is responding while playing the game.
- Bennie wanted to make a note regarding a situation he encounters when his clients know their dog was abused in the past
- Another explanation for submissive behavior could be that the dog could have been played with very dominantly and therefore does not trust being around people.
- Remember to create opportunities for praise!
- You can allow your dog to take a dominant role.
- The back and forth of the tugging between you and your dog (the yin and yang) shows trust and builds trust.
- For a high confidence-level dog, Tug-of-War is a game is about who is in control
- A confident dog will start the game and end the game
- As the owner, you have to be the one who initiates, begins, and ends the game
- You should let your dog win sometimes to build her confidence.
- Turn the game of Tug-of-War into a fun, quality game that will boost your dog’s confidence and incorporate some obedience training.
- You will need to recognize a few things first:
- That you are playing “tug” – make sure you recognize when your dog is actually tugging (on the leash or whatever the object is).
- Who initiated the game? – did the dog bring you the toy or rope or did you initiate the game?
- Instead of taking the toy from your dog, make your dog drop it first – listen to Ep 052 Help Your Dog Make the Right Choice at the Right Time where Bennie teaches the DROP-IT command.
- If your dog really wants to play the game, make them SIT or complete the DOWN command first as the game can be used as motivation and you are making them do a command prior to playing.
- If you want to be advanced – practice holding the command – put them in SIT or DOWN then throw the toy and then release them to go fetch the toy
- You are incorporating obedience, turning this into more of a game of toss instead of tug.
- Let’s say you do play the game and your dog initiated it. If at the end of the game, your dog lunges for the toy and she puts her mouth on you – stand up, leave the game and take the toy away.
- She needs to learn that she is not allowed to put her mouth on you or the game is completely over.
- Also, if your dog doesn’t mind you with any of the commands you gave them three times, then it is time to end the game as well.
- For example – you tell them to sit and they don’t sit, or you throw the toy and you tell them to drop and they don’t drop it three times or more, then the game is over.
- This will show her that if you don’t obey me as the owner, then you don’t get to play the game.
- Be very aware of who ends the game – you need be the one to end the game.
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