top of page

Rules of Tug

THE RULES ARE SIMPLE:                                                                                                     

  • Dog must sit politely before the game begins. See Teaching Sit.

  • Game begins only when you cue it (“Take it!”). 

  • He drops when you cue “Drop!” (see below)

  • SHORT intervals (<10 seconds) between “Drops” early in training. (You can make them longer as the dog’s “drop” becomes more reliable)

  • Any teeth on skin, even accidental, ends the game.


Cue the tug game to start. Have a tasty treat ready within reach. After 5 seconds, say “Drop!", pause 2 seconds, then hold out the treat (right in front of or on his nose, if necessary). If the dog doesn't drop the toy right away, try dropping or tossing the treat so he sees it moving. When he drops, reward him with treat and praise. Wait 20 seconds, have him sit and start again. Over time the dog will begin to drop on cue to prepare for the treat.


Before cueing the start of each new short tug session, hold the toy out to the dog for a second. If he goes for it without the cue, take it away (timing is important here). He can take it only when you give the cue.


bottom of page