Authored by Athena Nagel
Dogs are intelligent and highly vibrant animals but, they can turn out to be dull, inactive, and incompetent without the right types of games. Suffice to say, games are specially required to stimulate your dog both mentally and physically.
While there are different types of games to play, tug of war has become a popular game among dog owners and their canine companions because of its many benefits. Although, if not handled properly, the game may influence the dog wrongly by making it more aggressive. But, on the flip side, if managed correctly, it’s one of the best games that can repattern a dog’s behavior towards positivity. This is why the game has to be interactive; the owner sets the pace and boundaries of the game and allows the dog to flow through the process.
Source: Stylish Hound
Without mincing words, here are some benefits of interactive tug play.
- Influences mood and behavior
Dogs are emotional animals and are sensitive to their surrounding, and thus, most times, their perception alters their mood. When this happens, you can play tug of war with the dog to bring it back alive. Tug of war is an energetic game, and once you initiate the game, the dog has no choice but to jump up, wag its tail and whine to the excitement of the game.
- Build and boosts Confidence
The game helps dogs gain self-awareness, and the constant struggle helps them gain consciousness about how strong they are. Thus, they are fast to teach the trait of being confident. They are equipped to stand and guard against threats in the short run. Most security and heavy guard dogs were bred with this process. That’s why you see that they are always not scared to stand up to any strange sight or appearance.
- Builds a bond
Like every other interactive game, the more you play, the more you create a special bond with your loyal friend. Dogs always like to play; thus, they get attached to whoever plays with them. The phenomenon is almost likened to the human situation; if you play with a child, that child is likely to get fond of you and vice versa. The same thing goes for dogs. Tug of war, if played correctly, can help increase the bond between you and your dog.
- Good for rules
Tug of war is a game of rules and parameters. It’s easy to identify when your dog is going out of track so that it can be corrected. For instance, if a dog exhibits aggressive behavior when playing, it’s better to stop the game, and this should keep happening until the dog learns to play without being aggressive. Thus, tug of war is an ideal game to enforce obedience on your dog.
- Body fitness
The game is a test of endurance and stamina; thus, it’s an exercise that lets your dog keep fit. Usually, dogs play with their teeth, forearm, and hind legs – every part of their body is invested in the game. By pulling, they flex the muscles in these parts of the body. The same goes for the dog owner or trainer, especially if the dog is quite massive in weight. In the short run, it helps them to keep fit.
- Mental stimulation
Only intelligent dogs can play tug of war, and as they play overtime, their mind gets sharpened. They learn skills, confidence, rules, and boundary.
However, note that for the game to be effective, it has to be practiced correctly. Overindulgence may stir up some negative traits in the dog; plus, you as the alpha must know your place and discipline the dog when it errs.