To Play or Not to Play, Tug-of-War


Chloe has her animal toy ready for the tug-of-war game.

When it comes to playing, Chloe’s favorite is a game of fetch, but coming in a close second is a good old fashion tug-of-war.  If you Google search the words “tug-of-war with a dog”, you’ll find that opinions come down on both sides of the issue on if playing tug-of-war could cause your dog to become overly aggressive.  Responses include.

…It’s a game that can relieve a dog’s boredom.
…You can show a dog that you’re the leader.
…Don’t play the game since it brings out a dog’s aggressive nature. 
…Even, Cesar Millan, well-known dog trainer, discourages playing.

Chloe and I have played tug-of-war since her puppy days, and in Don’t Be Like Minnie!, I wrote about Chloe’s inner Minnie, where her mother’s high-energy personality tends to come out when she’s engaged in an active game.  Chloe can be rough and tumble when she enjoys the game, but I’ve learned to sense when such an activity might make her cross the line into an overly aggressive state.  I like to say it’s my way of being the Dog Whisperer by using a game to teach her to become better behaved.  

When Chloe and I play tug-of-war, we use one of her animal toys that makes it easier for her to grasp. With a continuously wagging tail, Chloe brings me her toy and the game begins as I take hold of the animal's tail. The squeaker inside the toy adds to the fun by creating a bit of noise for the game, something that Chloe inherently loves to hear.  There’s no need to get your dog in a-frenzy during an active game, but by not playing tug-of-war, I think you loose a valuable training session. 

...What do you think?

Chloe plays the game, tug-of-war,
...where she doesn't like to give up,
...and the Winner is Chloe!

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