Teach a Dog Tug of War

Teach a Dog Tug of War
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Teach a Dog Tug of War in no time at all.

Playing tug with your best friend is a fun time together. It’s a pretty simple trick to learn as well.

There are no other tricks to learn before this one, so let’s jump right in…


A rope toy is the best to use for this trick. First, get your dog to grab hold of one end of the toy with their mouth. As they move toward it PRAISE and REWARD them.

This step is for dogs or pups who are a little timid. You want them to grab the toy in their mouth. Many dogs will do this without asking too much.

If you don’t have immediate success, give a verbal praise as your dog gets closer to the toy. After several times and maybe a treat or two in the process they will usually get it.

If not, keep trying…


Once they get it in their mouth, pull back and wiggle with a little force.

In this step you want your dog to continue holding the toy in their mouth as you pull it back and forth. If you pull to hard at first, they may think you want it back.

You know your dog best, so make the right call on how rough to get and when.


When they start to tug back on the toy, say “TUG” and PRAISE and REWARD them.

You are doing a couple of things in this step.

First, you are associating (connecting) the “TUG” verbal command with the act of playing tug of war.

Then, you want to praise with a Good Girl, Good Boy and give a tasty treat to your dog. This will lock-in their understanding and always make them come back for more.


How to Teach a Dog Tug of War is one of the easiest tricks to teach your dog.

You’ll have to check out the RELEASE command for what to do next.

Tell us about your tug of war experience with your dog in the comments below.

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Steve Larrivee

Steve Larrivee

As a dog lover since his youth, Steve Co-Founded Athenas Pets with his son Kevin to promote dog training to the masses. Athenas Pets, focuses on training products and providing the "know-how" so the average dog owner can train their dog like a pro.

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