You’ve had a long day at work and as soon you walk through the door, your pooch is leaping up and down trying to get your attention. You can barely sit down, he’s so excited. While you’re glad he’s happy to see you, 30 seconds to gather yourself first would be appreciated. This over-excitement manifests itself in other ways too. He likes to nibble and bite your hands and arms when you play. It started off being cute and humorous, but when he snapped at another dog on a walk recently, you feared the harmless habit has turned into something dangerous.
If you can train your dog to divert that energy elsewhere though, like into a game of tug and war, you can avoid any biting problems. Not only will it tire him out so he spends more time napping than he does biting, it will also help him understand what he can and what he cannot bite.
Training him to play tug of war is nice and easy. The main thing you need to do is get him excited about playing and motivate him to sink his teeth into a toy. Throw in some tasty treats to reward him and he’ll be wanting to play tug of war every day. If he’s a puppy and full of energy, this could take just a couple of days to teach him. If he’s older and not as energetic or switched on as he once was, then he may need up to a week before he catches on.
Get this training right, and you’ll have a fun game to play with him, and a great way to tire him out. If walks don’t do the trick, then tug of war will certainly leave him dozing in the afternoons. It will also reduce the risk of him excitedly biting anyone and channel his nibbling behavior into something safe.
The first thing you’ll need is a tug of war toy. These can be bought online or from a local pet store. If he’s big and strong, you may need a heavy duty toy. You can even make a toy out of old clothes, tied together.
Treats or his favorite food will also be essential for incentivizing and rewarding him. Set aside 5-10 minutes a day for the next few days for training.
Apart from that, just bring some energy and come in a playful mood and you’re ready to begin!