We've just launched our Eco rope tug toys! They're an ideal way to play with your dog - Tug is a brilliant, very instinctive game that your pup will likely love to play - more on that later!
The toys have a big Monkey Fist Knot at one end and dual sides to allow for greater tug grip! Gemma's dad Bill showed us the knots and most likely tied your toy, A 'Bill's Blog' will be coming soon - Bill's told us enough stories about the Navy and Knots so now it's your turn!
We decided to only use our Upcycled Eco rope for these toys! It's rope that has lived a full life in a climbing centre or being used by a local enthusiast and it gives us great joy to provide a little TLC and find the rope new purpose. Minimising our impact on the environment is key and truly, the up-cycled rope has so much character that we often prefer it.
Generally speaking rope toys are one of the safest types of dog toys. However If you let your dog chew on a rope toy, please never let them do so without observation, never leave it laying around, and always take it away if you see the dog pulling out and eating the strands!
When playing Tug we think its a great idea to implement training and ground rules to ensure no fingers are nipped in all the fun! However remember that dominance training has little to no basis in mordern dog training science - you do not need to 'always win'. You can very easily use positive reinforcement to train your pal to play safely and be mindful of their teeth and manners whilst trying to pull your arm off!
So why do dogs instinctively enjoy playing tug so much!?
Firstly and most simply, Your dog loves you - they want to spend their entire day with you usually! Lazing on the sofa or just being in the same room is great, but messing around, wrestling and using some of their natural instincts and muscles WITH YOU.. & A TOY is AMAZING. Almost as good as having the same thing for dinner every single day! We sometimes can get lazy with training, or stimulating our dogs and it's important to remember that walks are essential, but there are many way's to engage your dog and make them content, and an all round approach really is the best!
Some dogs love to just play tug of war or fetch with toys quite placidly while others love a good ole ‘death shake’! Iggy, our smallest and fiercest hound, does a pretty scary death shake with every toy, alongside some major big dog growling.
She took to our new rope toys immediately - Iggy is highly toy motivated, which is part of her natural JRT ferocity and also we think in a large part due to her disability - she can't get out on every walk like the two lurchers and that can lead to frustration or pent up energy for her, having time for play with a toy is essential for her and she gives it 200% every time!
The shaking and tugging ties in with the theory of dogs working together and learning how to kill and tear up their prey - not fantastic imagery we know but that is the truth of the matter, our doggo's are descendants of proud wolves, and would likely get by without human ownership! We always hope our dogs get as much from the deal as we get from having them in our lives!
With some guidelines and rule setting, tug should be a fun game to build bonds and help with basic training.
Our main key points are;
- If there’s too much teeth on hands contact, the game stops.
- It's really worth trying to make sure they drop the toy when you ask - the 'Drop' command is also great for fetch and in general dog ownership! We are still working on this one with Iggy. She can struggle a little with impulse control but we do fall guilty to letting her away with more due to being a little bit special.
Don’t worry if your dog isn’t that interested at first, Honey is still learning what toys are and likes to be involved, but hasn’t a clue what she’s doing! We call it Honey Smash as she just stamps on toys and flings them about which is just brilliant to watch, no tug involved whatsoever. We think she has very sensitive teeth so don’t encourage tug too much and just let her work away at being a happy weirdo. Tug can be a great confidence builder for shy dogs and helps them to come out of their shell and bond with their humans!
Who knew there was so much more to it than just having a wrestle with your bestie!?
I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit more about Tug of War and have fun playing with your pups!
Gem and the Hounds.
Lots of our info was found on this fantastic website: