The Right Way to Play Tug With Your Dog

Tug Is Not for Everyone

Not everyone can play tug with the dog; young children and toddlers are particularly at risk when playing tug. Your child may not understand the idea of appropriate tug toys, and she may not be able to resist playing tug when you're not around to supervise. In fairness to your dog, rather than blurring the lines of when tug is appropriate and what toys are fair game, I recommend that you make this game completely off limits for younger children, in order to prevent an unwanted tug game with a Barbie doll or a pant leg.

Instead of playing tug, teach your child to play other games with your dog, such as fetch or hide-and-seek (where the dog searches out hidden toys or treats). Keep in mind that all interactions between your child and your dog should be supervised by an adult.

Young children can also take part in reward-based obedience training. Although my daughter Reagan is only 2 years old, both of our Pugs already listen to her commands to sit, down and spin.


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