It goes without saying that the best game to play with your tug toy is tug of war. However, Tug-E-Nuff toys are versatile and are great for playing all kinds of enriching games that you and your dog will enjoy. In the video for this lesson, Chelsea demonstrates three of our favourite games - Hide and Seek, Toy Switch and Find It.
Hide & Seek
This is great for all dogs but we particularly like this for helping boost a recall for young dogs too. You can place the dog in a wait or have them restrained, whilst you go hide. Then once you’ve hidden, call your dog to you… When they successfully find you, engage in a game of tug as a reward.
This game is easiest with two identical tug toys to begin with so your dog has no preference. Engage in play with tug number one whilst tug number two is hidden behind your back. After a little while bring out this second toy - wiggling it excitedly to grab your dog's attention. Meanwhile you make the first tug stop moving and become inactive or ‘dead’.
Give your dog the verbal cue to ‘switch’ and they should start playing with the newly introduced toy. You then pop tug number one behind your back. This can then be repeated until the ‘switch’ command is super snappy. This is a great foundation for building muscle memory to practise a leave command.
This is a game that relies heavily on scent, so if your dog hasn’t played before we recommend using a toy like the Bungee Food Bag or The Clam and stuffing it with smelly treats such as dried sprats.
To play, show the toy to your dog and let them sniff it. Then, ask them to wait while you hide it somewhere. To begin with, make it easy - perhaps hide it under a cushion in the same room. Then, give the verbal cue ‘find it’ and encourage your dog to sniff out the toy. Then they do, they can enjoy the treats inside. Once they’ve got the hang of it, you can hide the toy in more tricky places.
As always when using a Tug-E-Nuff toy, the most important thing is to have FUN. Keep things positive and stop if your dog stops having fun.
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