Why You Should Time Your Tug Games!

Like the sun and the wind, puppy energy is fully renewable. It comes in fits and spurts. Without a good plan for how to handle it, things can get uncomfortable, fast.

Playing tug is a wonderful way to use this energy. Read on to learn why you should time your tug games and other tips. You’re going to be surprised!

I challenge you to set a timer for 3 minutes. Play until your pup decides they’ve had enough, or, the timer goes off. Either way, you may find it a long 3 minutes. Most people I meet are playing for under 1 minute!

Don’t worry about asking the pup to drop the toy. You can teach that in a separate session. You’re after the chase, grab, push, pull, and shake. This is time dedicated to your pup. Their time, their pace.

After 3 minutes, if your pup is still energetic and engaged increase the length of time you play.

  • Play with a toy that your puppy loves. Experiment to learn what this is.
  • Play low.
  • Play on traction.
  • Act as an anchor versus shaking the pup’s head, sliding them around, or lifting them.
  • What you do with the toy makes it fun.
  • Bang the toy on the ground.
  • Gently push into the pup.
  • Make fun gurr sounds.
  • Squeak the toy.
  • Put the toy away when you’re done playing.
time your tug games. line drawing of puppy and person playing tug
  • Lightweight long unstuffed plush tugs with squeakies.
  • Hol-ee roller with something tied to it.
  • Stuffed animal with a light rope tied to it.
  • Appropriate weight and length rope toy.
a rope tug toy

Be comfortable! If you aren’t comfy you won’t play for long. Sit in a chair or lie on the couch. A long toy allows you to cast it away from you. It also provides lots of room between the pup’s mouth and your (or a kid’s hand.)

Run and drag the toy. Let the pup catch up and grab it, you could insert the word ‘come’ into the game as you run.

The switcheroo uses two toys, and you alternate between them.

Hide the tug and when the puppy finds it play tug.

Ready, set, play!

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