The title alone will make many dog trainers cringe. At the same time there are a large group of dog owners who are so relieved to find out playing tug (in the right way) with a dog can be a really great way to start a most excellent training communication with their puppy. As for the dog trainers who have a problem with it, the article written by HalleBalle Dog Blog is good reason to re-think shutting down this great training tool.
Why Training Your Dog Through Play Works
All work and no play makes Johnny want to be a bad boy, Sally want to be a naughty girl and Harley the dog use your $100 shoe as a chew toy. People and dogs learn in different ways but recent studies say that learning with play is most effective for permanent change in behavior.
“Learning is defined in psychology as a permanent change in behavior, motivated by experience. Evolution suggests that mind and consciousness are not confined to humans, and it seems obvious, if one observes the play of young animals, that it is part of their learning experience. Human play is a voluntary, fun-filled activity, a primitive kind of communication in which the players engage in behaviors that mimic reality. Children, who have few other ways of communicating, use play as their major technique for self-expression and social behavior. Find out more about learning and playing, and how they shape our lives: Learning and Playing
How to Play Tug as Way to Learn
Dogs learn and think in pictures and clearly defined rules shown from the beginning are key to training your puppy or dog to follow the rules of engagement when it comes to tug…. or anything else you want your best friend to know for that matter.
HalleBalle Dog is a Weimaraner, much like my own, who’s owner has written the ultimate guidelines to teaching your dog how to play tug.
Read it here: Teaching Your Dog Tug of War
Have fun with your dog while developing the skills to a well behaved dog.
Do you play tug with your dog? Have you been told tug is bad thing to do with your dog? Leave a comment with your tug thoughts.
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