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Help! My Dog Keeps Biting The Handle of My Tug Toy!

Playing an interactive game of tug with your dog is one of the most rewarding, bond-boosting training activities you can do.

At Tug-E-Nuff, we’re proud to make some of the best training toys for dogs that make positive play between dogs and their owners both easy and successful. 

When owners first start playing tug, it’s relatively common for some dogs to appear to prefer to bite down on the handle of their tug (rather than the bite area). We like to affectionately call these dogs ‘handle grabbers’. 

The good news here is that Tug-E-Nuff toys are designed to withstand many hours of tugging and we use top-grade materials to ensure they are some of the most durable dog toys money can buy. 

However, it is always best to encourage your dog to target the bite area. Here’s five expert tips on how to do this from Tug-E-Nuff play expert Chelsea:

1. Bunch up 

If you notice your dog grabbing the handle instead of the bite area when playing tug, bunch up the length of the handle on the toy so only the bite area is on show. Praise your dog when they place their mouth on the bite area.

2. Keep tension

It can also help while learning to play tug with your dog to keep slight tension on the toy so that your dog needs to hold tighter. This prevents them re-gripping and working their way towards the handle.

3. Practice and patience

Practice makes perfect. Play tug in short, fun sessions and keep it positive at all times. Gradually, with patience and by following the steps above, your dog will learn that the bite area is the most satisfying and rewarding area to grab

4. Choose Bungee toys

Handle-grabbing dogs often do better with a bungee-handled toy (like our WondaBaa Bungee or Bright Fauxtastic). That’s because our bungee-handled toys are more likely to withstand accidental mouth contact than some of our non bungee products.

5. Our favourite for handle grabbers

The Sheepskin Bungee Ring is a great choice for dogs who like to handle grab while playing tug. The handle is curved, making it more discreet and the bite area more prominent. This increases their chance of successfully targeting the bite area.

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