Playing Tug of War With Your Good Dog

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Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. I bet you sniffed out this blog post from home. Today I want to suggest a wooftastic bonding game for you & your good dog. Playing ‘Tug of war’ can provide a wonderful outlet for the natural canine urge to grab & pull. It’s a fun way to exercise your good dog too. I’m sure you’ve seen puppies playing this game with each other.

First you’ll need a good tug toy. All our Knotty Toys can be used for a game of tug but our Knotty Chaw Chaw & Mighty Chaw Chaw were created specifically for tug of war games.

It’s important to set the rules & be firm. We good dogs like rules. While learning the game always encourage proper play. Keep each round of tug short, no more than ten to fifteen seconds. You can end the round by commanding your dog to release or you can let the toy go & let your good dog toss it about.

Remember this is just a game, not a competition. If your dog is taking the game too serious & is showing signs of aggression, you need to stop immediately. Let go & step back.

It’s also important that grabbing onto anything but the tug toy (your hand for example) is not allowed. You want to be having fun not inadvertently encouraging what could become a bad & potentially dangerous habit.

If you want to read a more detailed article on playing tug, I sniffed out this article on the ASPCA web site.

Stay home, Stay safe.

#plankthecurve

CEO Olivia 

Knotty Games for Good Dogs

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CEO Olivia and her Knotty Toy

Hello all, CEO Olivia reporting. Spring is still several weeks away at the Knotty Toys for Good Dogs International Headquarters. The snow has been so deep this year that our outside playtime has been very limited. Luckily, my pack lives in a house full of toys.

It’s important that your good dog gets plenty of physical exercise but it’s equally important for it to work it’s brain too. Boredom can lead to OCD & other “unwanted” behaviors. A canine couch potato is just as bad as the human one.

Our Knotty Toys for Good Dogs are an excellent choice for boredom busting fun. My huMom intended our toys to be interactive. Yes, they are gurrreat for just chewing, which is pawsome for teeth & gums, but they are also wooftastic for playing games with humans.

Hide & Seek. Hide your good dog’s Knotty Toy & then ask them to find it. Trust me, the wonderful smell of raw hemp will guide your good dog to the hiding spot. When they do, make a big deal out of it.  The first few times make it easy until they understand the game, then slowly make the search more challenging. Always reward with positive reinforcement be it a quick tug game or a treat. Always praise your good dog & show lots of enthusiasm. We need to know your having fun.

Fetch. Playing fetch is always fun, especially if there is a reward for returning the toy. Sometimes a game of fetch can turn into a game of tug of war. Just for fun, I don’t always release the toy upon fetching it. I like to make my huMom do some work, she’s bored with winter too. BOL!

Tug of war. This is a favorite game for all good dogs, especially puppies. Our wild ancestors played it. It helps develop our muscles & it seems to be an instinctual impulse for us to pull. Any of my Knotty Toys can be used for this game but I recommend one of our Knotty Chaw-Chaws.

The bottom line is, just like humans, good dogs need mental stimulation & regular exercise. Which reminds me, I believe I have a 3 o’clock Knotty Chaw Chaw scheduled with huMom.

CEO Olivia

Boredom Breakers

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We are experiencing a colder than usual winter. Hi there, CEO Olivia here. During these cold days Suzie Q & I aren’t too enthused about playing in our yard. So our huMom needs to keep us occupied so we don’t get bored.

It’s important that your good dog gets plenty of physical exercise but it’s equally important for them to work their brains too. Boredom can lead to OCD & other “unwanted” behaviors such as destroying furniture. And a canine couch potato is just as bad as it’s human counterpart. So here are a few suggestions to keep a dog’s mind sharp & it’s day more interesting.

Food puzzle toys are invaluable boredom busters. Since my wild cousins spend much of their time scavenging for food, food puzzle toys offer a natural solution to dog boredom. Puzzle toys also encourage chewing & licking, which can have a calming effect on dogs. I have a toy that looks like a big paw. My huMom hides treats under these sliding doors that I have to work for my reward. It’s wooftastic fun.

There are lots of new & exciting products available that can offer a number of difficulty levels. You can use something as simple as a Kong or ball stuffed with treats to more elaborate devices that require several problem solving steps. Suzie Q prefers a Kong stuffed with treats. She doesn’t seem to understand my puzzle game.

You can also put food to work for you by making your dog hunt for it. Hide small treats of food in the house for your good dog to “hunt.” Initially, make the treats very easy to find. As your dog gets better at this game, practice hiding the food in more difficult spots.

Of course a Knotty Toy can be fun on these long days. Hide your good dog’s Knotty Gnaw or Knotty Chaw Chaw & then ask them to find it. When they do, make a big deal out of it & give them a treat & engage in play with the Knotty Toy.  The first few times make it easy so they understand the game.  As the game continues make the search more challenging. Always reward with a treat, praise & lots of enthusiasm.

Nothing makes a good dog happier than when our humans take the time to work on communication skills.  A pawfectly fun way huMom & I do this is by going through my routine which is a variety of commands we have worked on over the years.  To make it more stimulating we have added a new command, crawl. Doing this strengthens our bond because the foundation of all good relationships is good communication skills.

At least one daily walk with your dog is important but they might grow bored of the same route, especially if it’s a shorter than usual walk due to the cold. Try to find time for several short walks & regularly change up your route so that your good dog can experience new stinks & sights. Keep life interesting.

It’s often difficult to work time with your dog into your hectic daily routine. If you’ve got a busy schedule, consider a doggie daycare. If possible come home for lunch & spend time with your dog. A professional dog walker, another family member or trusted neighbor could also spend time with your dog while you toil in the salt mines.

A final reminder, be sure to always monitor your dog when she/he is playing with a toy. Most dog toys are built to be safe, but dogs can eat anything & that can quickly turn serious (& costly!).

CEO Olivia

 

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