Playing with your dog is a great way to have fun, but it can also be tiring. One of the best ways to play with your pup without getting tired out is by playing tug-of-war with them. However, it can be a bit tricky to decide how aggressive or dominant you should get with your pet during this game.

Read on to learn more about the best practices when playing this common pet game, how often you should win, and how often you should let your dog win the game.

Should You Let Dogs Win Tug War?

It’s a good idea to let your dog win in a game of tug of war some of the time. They are very excited during the process of the game because it’s a natural instinct to play this way. They begin to act as if they are predators, which is really how dogs evolved. However, if you always let them win, they might become more aggressive or start to disobey your commands. Because of this, striking a balance may be the best option to make sure this game doesn’t get out of hand.

When you do let your dog win, make sure to positively reinforce their win and give them affection. This will help to dissipate any of the aggression the dog may have experienced during the game and it will also show them that you are the dominant one in this situation.

When you choose to win in a game of tug-of-war, you’ll want to make sure that your dog still knows that you are the one in charge. They will also want to know that you care for them and weren’t maliciously trying to take something away from them. Be aware of their needs for rewards and positive reinforcement. Ask yourself this question: “What will I do if I don’t let the dog win?” You could for example, give them a treat or play another game with them.

Letting your pet win tug-of-war every time can be seen as spoiling them and teaching them to be too assertive. This game works best when both you and the dog win on occasion. Make sure your dog behaves well in either outcome and aggression shouldn’t be a big problem.

How To Play Tug-Of-War WIth Your Dog

Tug-of-war can be a fun game for you and your dog to play if done correctly. It is important to keep in mind that this isn’t just about playing with them or winning against them, but also teaching them how to react when they do win the toy away from you. There are some ways that owners should try so that they can get the most out of this game and teach their dog to play in a positive way.

In order for you to win tug-of-war, use your voice along with physical motions to let them know you’re ready for them to submit. You may want to stand up and pull the toy vertically so that it more easily slips out of the dog’s mouth. You can also use phrases such as “drop it” or “give it” to encourage the dog to release the toy. Saying their name may also be helpful. Use a happy tone of voice as well so that they don’t become afraid or aggressive from your actions during this game.

When you let your dog win tug-of-war, make sure to reward it with lots of praise and affection. This will help them feel like they did something good and alleviate any aggressive feelings about the game that could arise on either side. However, if you decide to play this game, you’ll need to make sure that your dog feels like it is the one in charge by making sure you win on occasion as well.

Why Do Dogs Growl When Playing Tug of War?

Dogs growl during tug-of-war because they are working to win the toy from you. They are trying to play with you, but they are also asserting themselves by telling you that they want the toy more than you do.

While it may seem like your dog is being aggressive at first, this actually shows how much fun and playful your pet can be when playing around. It’s important to keep in mind though that if a dog continues to growl or doesn’t respond to your commands, then the game should be stopped. Other indicators, such as bearing teeth, hair rising on the back of your dog’s neck, or a hard stare should be considered as aggression as well.

If your dog continues to growl after the game, then you may want to try and find a new toy for them. This will show your dog that they can win the game so long as they don’t act aggressively while doing it, which should happen over time with practice.

Does Tug of War Cause Aggression in Dogs?

Since tug-of-war can trigger the “predator” instinct in dogs, it can sometimes cause them to become aggressive. This is because when they win the toy from the owner’s hands, they feel as though they have won a battle and defeated their adversary.

A dog is considered overly aggressive if it continues to growl and show their teeth after the tug-of-war game is over. This can be a dangerous situation, since your dog may feel like they need to defend themselves in situations where there really isn’t any danger present.

If they begin acting aggressively during the process of playing tug-of-war with them, then it is time to stop and take a break from this activity for a while. It’s important not to let aggression escalate into something worse when

Is Tug of War Bad for Dogs?

It’s important to understand that tug-of-war isn’t inherently bad for dogs, but it can be if their owner doesn’t play the game correctly. This is why it’s so crucial to make sure your dog feels like they win on occasion and use happy tones of voice when playing this game with them.

Different dog personalities will respond to tug-of-war in different ways. Some may become aggressive while others will not. Your dog should be watched during this game to make sure that they remain playful and don’t show signs of aggression when you win the toy away from them.

Dogs that are extremely dominant or have previous trauma won’t do well playing this game and should be entertained by other means.

Some dogs are also not interested in playing tug-of-war. The dog may have a toy preference or may have other needs that need to be satisfied first. There are many different activities you can try with your dog to keep them engaged and entertained, so it’s important not to rely on tug-of-war as the only source of entertainment for your pet.

You’ll want to make sure you don’t hurt your dog playing this game. Be careful not to tug too hard because your dog’s teeth can be damaged in the process.

You should also make sure to use a toy that your dog likes and doesn’t destroy easily. That way, you can switch toys out when they get destroyed, which can prevent them from choking on tiny pieces or strings of the toy.

Do Dogs Get Tired of Tug of War?

Since tug-of-war expends more energy than a pup simply laying down and chewing on a toy, they will definitely get tired more quickly than with other more leisurely games. This makes it a perfect activity for dogs with high energy, young dogs and puppies, and dogs that are cooped up in a home or apartment all day long.

If the dogs constantly win or constantly lose the game, they will likely get bored more quickly. By mixing up the games, they will be able to enjoy the activity for longer periods of time.

You will likely get tired during this game as well! It’s important to make sure that your arm isn’t accidentally pulled or twisted during the game. This is a common injury that happens with this type of play, which can be prevented by being careful and aware while playing.

How Should I Let My Dog Win Tug of War?

Let your dog win tug-of-war by having them sit first. This will help you to be able to pull the toy away from them without tugging too hard, which could result in injury for your pup.

When they are sitting down, make sure that their front end is up and not resting on the floor. They should lean into you slightly with anticipation while waiting for your command so that they can sit quickly and you don’t have to tug on the toy too hard.

Be sure that your dog isn’t getting too tired before letting them win this game. When you’re ready to let them win, let the toy go. The dog will then continue to chew their toy prize and even possibly whip it around a few times in the air.

You can let them celebrate their win for a moment. Then refocus them by providing positive reinforcement and asking them to drop or let go of the toy. This will help them to calm down for the next round.

What Toy Is Best for Tug-of-War?

It’s important to have a toy that is durable, but not too difficult for your dog to chew. The most common types of tug toys are rope toys and stuffed animals.

Rope tug toys are made of tough materials such as cotton, sisal or jute fabric, plastic (typically nylon), rubberized rope, polyester yarns, and sometimes leather. Rope is the most common material used for dog chews.

It’s important that you select a toy that your dog can handle. If the toy is too large, your pup might get injured by trying to keep ahold of it.

Stuffed animals can be used for playing tug-of-war with dogs, including puppies and adult dogs alike! These toys come in all different sizes, which makes them even more fun to play with.

The best-stuffed animals for tug-of-war are the ones that have a squeaker inside of them. This can be used as an incentive for your pup to keep on tugging and not let the toy go!

One of the biggest problems with using stuffed animal toys for tug-of-war is the inevitable stuffing that will be pulled out of them during the game. You can prevent this by buying a toy that has minimal stuffing inside and is sewn together very tightly so it will not easily come undone during playtime.

Even if you buy stuffed animals with less filling, your dog may still pull some of the material out eventually! It’s important to monitor how much stuffing is being removed from the toy to make sure that your dog isn’t ingesting any.

Finally, you’ll want to consider the length of the toy. You’ll want something long enough that keeps your dog’s mouth away from your hands so there isn’t a possibility of them nipping you with their teeth.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.