Why does my dog growl when we play tug of war? Essential Tips

Why do people worry about a dog playing tug?

Many people believe playing tug-of-war with a dog is not safe. If this game is played without caution and it goes too far, injury can occur, or the dog may get out of control.

Dogs often growl and make intense noise while playing which people worry is a sign of aggression.

But if you stick to the guidelines, playing tug-of-war can help a pet parent practice control during rowdy times. It provides them with exercise, and it is beneficial for their teeth.

Does Tug of War Make Dogs Aggressive?

No, tug of war does not make dogs aggressive, unless aggression is explicitly encouraged and the dog is uncontrollable with verbal commands.

You can play rough with your dog, I do it too.

People often have the misconception that just by playing tug of war, your dog will turn aggressive.

It can happen that these types of games are used to condition undesired behavior but that won’t happen with a plain ol’ game of tug-of-war.

Pushing a dog beyond the limits, rewarding extremely rough play, and not being able to control your dog should be avoided.

Without discussing further details, there are negative methods to utilize harmless games – such as tugging – to foster aggression.

To avoid fostering aggression, teach a proper “Out” command, make bringing the toy to you fun, and end sessions on a good note (e.g. trading treat for toy).

There are actually studies on the links between play and dominance and how it affects temperament.

Here is what we consider before playing tug games with any dog we train.

Why is playing tug of war with your dog is controversial?

Our Oodle Life YouTube channel has a video all about playing tug of war with your dog.

It’s a popular opinion that this game creates behavior problems for dogs. In contrast, others say it builds healthy relationships between them and their owners or playmates.

While there are many different opinions about playing tug of war games with your pet, one thing is sure: you should always supervise these types of interactions. You must do this to avoid any possible injuries that could result in costly vet bills and discomfort.

Is Growling When Playing a Sign of Aggression – Robert Cabral Dog Training Video

The sound of growling can be intimidating but it doesn’t always indicate a dog is about to become aggressive. Here are the most common reasons for dogs that growl when playing tug of war.

Dogs can be quite vocal while they play. Whether it’s to you or to another dog, growling could be perfectly normal during a tug of war match. You could even add to the fun by growling back at your dog. Take the growling as a sign of a happy and entertained dog!