teaching tug


Experienced Member
My dog won't play tug. I think it is my fault since she has been taught to give everything to me so she thinks that she should. Now I want to teach her to tug. It seems like a lot of toys are tug toys. Also, she will only stay on a skateboard for a few seconds. I have tried shaping her to go longer but she will just stare at me, not making any moves to the skateboard. It is so frustrating. Thank you. Debby and Belle


Experienced Member
Not all dogs like to tug. Maybe she likes balls more. They are different, just like us. :)

With the skateboard. Keep trying, be patient. If she just stares at you, just keep waiting, until she tries to get a reward from you somehow, and in the second she starts doing something with the skateboard, click-reward. then just wait for longer and longer periods.


Experienced Member
I'm currently trying to re-motivate my corgi to tug. I think that all dogs (well pretty close anyway) are born with the love to tug, but they can loose that drive if you don't play and encourage it especially when they were teething as a pup. I made that mistake with Lance and am slowly regaining his love to tug.

I started with a really special toy that I keep up high (on the fridge) at all times. In the beginning I would take it down and make a HUGE deal with it, teased Lance with it and always always snaked it away from him never towards him. Prey moves away and does not come close :) In the beginning i would do this for 10 seconds at a time and not let Lance have the toy. If I let him have it he would have gotten bored so fast. after 10 sec I put it back on the fridge, made a huge deal out of this. So basically i acted like an idiot, but soon I was able to increase the amount of time I had the toy out and Lance was engaged. Soon he started wanting to have the toy so would tug a little bit. I would always try and quit when he was the most excited. Don't wait until the dog gets bored to stop!

I'm still doing this with Lance, but he will now tug at home for me, and loves it, for about 2min. I quit right before that time and put the toy away. i also let Lance win a lot!

Experiment with what type of toy to use. Most dogs LOVE real fur so i have a tug toy with bunny fur woven in. Go to agility or flyball trials or look online and you'll find some great toys. I also started Lance with a TUG IT which is a mesh toy you can stuff food inside. The dog tugs and gets rewarded by food oozing out :) Tug Training Dog Device -"Tug It" to teach dog to tug.

It's a lot of work but i think it's worth it. It is one more reward I can, or will be able to, use for Lance. Plus the reward heavily involves you so it increases your relationship with the dog. And it gets dogs in a higher drive so it would be beneficial for Lance's agility work!