6 Steps To Getting The Absolute Best From Your Tug Toy
So you’re the proud owner of an interactive dog training toy from Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear. HOORAY! But what now?
You’ve just opened up a world of rewarding play opportunities for you and your dog. You can improve your bond, supercharge your recall, build up stamina and have loads of fun – all of which will really help you achieve your training goals.
With help from Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear’s in-house play expert Chelsea, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you get the absolute best value from your tug toy…
STEP 1: Only use it for training
Tug-E-Nuff training toys are designed to be used interactively because we know that’s how to get the best results. They aren’t chew toys and you shouldn’t leave your dog alone for more than a couple of minutes with their toy.
Chelsea says: ‘By only using your Tug-E-Nuff training toy together for play sessions, you will really increase the value of it in your dog’s eyes – making it even more useful as a motivational aid.’
STEP 2: Distraction-free play time
Some dogs take to playing tug (and other games) straight away. Others need a little encouragement – they need to ‘learn’ to play. This is completely normal and it doesn’t mean that, in time, your dog won’t enjoy all the benefits that playing tug brings.
Chelsea says: ‘When you first begin play sessions with your tug toy, try to ensure there aren’t any other distractions around. Keep initial play sessions short but regular and show as much genuine enthusiasm as you can – your dog will mirror it!’
STEP 3: Use movement
Dogs have a natural chase drive that can be a really powerful motivator. To really spark their interest in their tuggy, you need to introduce some movement.
Chelsea says: ‘Think like a bird! Or a squirrel, snake or other small animal that a dog would consider prey. Try moving your tug toy quickly, then slow, then stop briefly and move it quickly again. It might take a few attempts but soon your dog will learn the game and their instinctive chase drive will kick in.’
STEP 4: Experiment with play
All dogs are different and what one dog can’t get enough of, another isn’t that fussed about. Playing interactively with your dog is a learning curve and it’s all about discovering what they enjoy and find motivating and rewarding. Get some ideas of games to try here.
Chelsea says: ‘Over time you’ll see a pattern in what works well and you can expand on that. For instance, if your dog responds really well to sheepskin, check out our other sheepskin toys. If they are most motivated by food, they might like The Clam or our food bags. If they love a tennis ball best of all, there are a few toys in our range that have them built in. ‘
STEP 5: Wash carefully
Keep your Tug-E-Nuff training toy looking (and smelling) fresh and clean by regularly rinsing it in a sink of cold water and letting it dry naturally. Find out our 3 top tips to keeping your tuggy looking fresher for longer.
Chelsea says: ‘If you really need to, you can pop your toys in the washing machine on a cool cycle, unless they have a squeaker – but never tumble dry them!’
STEP 6: Have fun!
Enjoy your training toy – and remember, we’re here to help, so if you have any questions or need any assistance, please get in touch.