Is playing tug of war a good game to engage in with your dog? It depends on who does it, and how the game is played.
Every dog has, to a greater or lesser degree, predatory instincts or prey drive. Prey drive includes such behaviors as: running, chasing, biting and chewing.
Before you start it will also be important to teach your dog to: sit, take it and drop it, to make sure the game goes as planned. Your leadership is consistently being reinforced as you work on these commands.
There are advantages to playing this game with your puppy or dog. Playing tug helps your puppy or dog burn energy similar to natural activities, like running or walking. A good time to play tug is right before you crate or leave your puppy or dog for a period of time. Winning the game also helps to teach your dog respect of your leadership, if played in the proper way.
How you play the game is important. When not playing, always keep the interactive toys up and away from your pup or dog. This helps them to understand that you control the toys. Require a sit first. Then say “Take it!” Then play the game. When it’s time to stop, say “Sit”, then “Drop It” and take the toy and put it away until the next game time.
Who gets to play the game is also important. Only those who can always win the game should be allowed to play.
Most importantly, have fun, teach and train your puppy or dog every day and continuously set boundaries and expectation.