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Puppies require many outlets for chewing and biting behavior. When done safely, tug can be a great game to engage your puppy.

Handler places first tug toy in front of puppy

Image courtesy of Jessica Benoit, RVT, VTS (Behavior), KPA CTP, CPDT-KA

Playing with two tug toys of the same value works best. Tug with one toy, and then, after a few seconds, release the other toy and allow your puppy to have it.

Handler holds first tug toy in front of puppy and second toy is in other hand

Image courtesy of Jessica Benoit, RVT, VTS (Behavior), KPA CTP, CPDT-KA

Pick up the second tug to entice your puppy to drop the one they are playing with and tug the new toy.

Puppy plays with one tug toy while handler holds another

Image courtesy Jessica Benoit, RVT, VTS (Behavior), KPA CTP, CPDT-KA

Pick up the toy your puppy dropped and repeat.

Handler shows puppy alternate tug toy

Image courtesy Jessica Benoit, RVT, VTS (Behavior), KPA CTP, CPDT-KA

Going back and forth playing tug this way not only prevents your puppy from redirecting their energy and excitement toward you, but also teaches to drop items.

This behavior is reinforced with continued play.

If your puppy has difficulty switching toys, you can always toss a few treats on the ground to get them to release.