Tug toys are not just something to tug on…
Tug toys are a tool that is used in motivational training, the motivator can be used to reward any activity from Obedience, Agility, Search and Rescue, practically anything! If you don’t know how to achieve these type of results with a tug toy, take a look at our articles on Training in drive and our Distance Learning Package on Training in Drive.
We have a wide range of tug toys, or more accurately named “prey items”. There are different types and sizes for different stages of training your dog as it is going through the process of training in drive. Some people think that as long as their dog will tug on the item they are using, it is right for their dog and right for their training goal. This is far from true, using the wrong toy can diminish drive in your dog, make scent work more difficult, cause your dog to heel in the wrong position, refuse to bite the tug and wear out its teeth.When you get your dog working on the right tug you can accelerate your dogs learning through drive and make the world of difference to the outcome and happiness of your dog.
The surface of the tug is very important when you are building drive, for example dogs trigger into prey drive a lot easier in the beginning of training with a small soft tug, like our Small French Linen Tug you can see on our Linen Tug Page. These can be moved around very quickly and also attached to a line or rope to swing around; they are also light enough to not cause pain in the dog if it is hit in the head. Another great option is our Flirt Pole with Leather Bite rag attached to a rope.
We have three surfaces of tugs that we make, French Linen, Leather and Synthetic, each has its own benefits and best uses, from super durability and wear factors with low tooth wear to the high drip developing leather the drive building linen.
Our Leather bite rags are great for puppies and also to vary the biting surface now and then for older dogs . The soft Leather in our bite rag is easy on a dogs or puppies mouth and can be flicked around fast. We also have the K9 Pro Flirt Pole which has a smaller, faster leather bite rag attached to the end of a cord which is then attached to our Lexan whip. This is great for getting dogs reluctant to tug into the game and also it is the number one best tool for imprinting puppies. As an example, many breeders like to use a towel, well that’s ok but if a towel is the trigger to fire a dog into prey, what might you think will happen when you go to wash then dry your pup?
If you have a problem with getting the item back, we recommend switching to a harder tug, like a correctly sized Synthetic Tug, as the dogs cannot grip these as easy and you can get the item back and train your dog this is of benefit to it.
A greater level of drive for the tug can be gained with French Linen and Leather because the dogs can get a good grip on it.
The hardness of a tug is also an important consideration, too hard and the dog cannot get a grip and there is no feeling feedback felt by the dog through the tug, this can result in loss of drive. Too soft and your dog may end up crushing the tug flat resulting in tooth clash, or the grip on the tug is so intense you can’t get a release.
We have our own range of Magnetic Tugs and a Trainers Vest with Magnet pockets to training super heel work and front positions too, again these are specialist tools that have the crowd wondering “how did they train that?!”
We have spent a great deal of time researching and developing these tools and we feel that we have a range that will meet any need. Our French Linen Tugs are the best you will find, great biting surface, range of sizes and good amount of firmness and our leather tugs are made from the same Leather we make our Premium Leather Leashes from, so you will know it is top shelf.
French Linen and Leather is easy on dogs’ teeth whilst remaining very durable. Our synthetic range are also excellent items with a different purpose in mind, they float, highly visible yellow or white and they are super tough.
Whilst you can purchase one tug at a time, we recommend always varying the tug you use with your dog so not to get it locked onto one piece of equipment, this is why we have good tug kits that have a range of tugs for every dog, at a great price saving.
Read our Article “How to Choose a Tug Toy“
Please note that no toy is indestructible, these tugs are not meant as a chew toy, but a training aid.