Most people think of tug as something a dog just does, like scratching his ear. Instead, we encourage you to think of tug as a skill and more importantly as a game that your dog wants to play with you.

Tug has lots of benefits. It's fun for both of you, and it's a great form of exercise that can be done on a rainy day. In fact, a 10 minute game of tug is more tiring than 30 minutes of just wandering around the backyard.

But tug is more than that. Tug can also be a reward that you use instead of treats. It's hard to always have treats on hand, and even if you do, you can go through them pretty fast. Buying lots of treats is expensive, and you also have to pay attention to how many calories your pup is eating. On the other hand, you never run out of tugs, and besides the cost of the toy itself, they're completely free.

Tug is also a great way to teach your pup to find value in being with you. One way to teach fetch is to use your dog's desire to tug with you as motivation to bring the toy back. He can't tug by himself, so if you throw the toy he has to bring it back to play. Similarly, it's how you reinforce the idea that your pup should come to you when you call. Good fun things like tug happen when your dog comes to you, which makes him more likely to return.