You will find controversy surrounding dog tug toys for as long as we shall live for plenty of reasons. You can ask a dog trainer, a dog handler, the veterinarian and a dog breeder all the same question on what their opinion is regarding dog tug toys and playing tug of war with your dog. You can be sure to get 4 different points of view.
All negative opinions generally refer to the aggression and brutal behaviour it provokes in the animal. However, some have the opinion that it is more relevant as to what breed it is or the specific dog’s temperament or personality traits than the dog has. Mostly you will find that the golden rule is that playing tug of war with your dog is not dangerous, but the manner in which you play it and the rules you enforce makes all the difference.
One must keep in mind that dogs, no matter how domesticated they are, will always have the ancestral instincts of a wolf present hidden deep inside their hearts.
During 2002, a thorough study was conducted to prove in what way does playing tug of war with your dog affects your relationship. It was established through this study that playing tug with your dog does not inflicts or promote aggression in dogs and does not affect your relationship negative in any way.
With that out of the way you can go an buy you and your best friend a dog tug toy with peace in your heart. Before you buy, remember to keep the following advice in mind.
You don’t want to have a dog tug toy that unravels easily. Especially if it is a small dog with teeth packed closely together to prevent strings to be caught between their teeth. Your choice of dog tug toy should be of good quality and have reasonable durability. Don’t play tug with your dog, no matter how small, with clothing or household items at all. By allowing that, you teach him that it is acceptable to drag your socks around and rip the couch apart.
Pay good attention to the strength of your dog’s chewing ability. Normally larger dogs don’t chew excessively as their smaller counterparts with much sharper and finer teeth. Apart from the chewing factor, make sure to obtain a tug toy that allows you reasonable grip on the toy and not a too strong grip on your end. It might be possible for you to tug out a tooth by accident if you pull too hard on the other end.
So now you have the right toy, now you need to update some basic knowledge on how to play a safe game of tug and war with the new tug toy. In no way you must let your dog dangle in the air as he hang on to the tug toy. They can hurt their teeth and jaws badly by doing this.