International Tug of War Day and Your Dogs
On the 19th of February every year, there is a day dedicated to the sport of tug of war. Tug of war is known the world over and has a rich history dating back at least 2,500 years and was even an Olympic sport in the 20th century!
The reason we love tug of war so much at Natural Cornish Pet is that it is the perfect game to play with our pooches. A brisk game of tug of war has a lot of brilliant benefits for your dog and helps to strengthen the bond between you and your canine companions too.
In this blog, we will be exploring the history of tug of war as well as highlighting all the benefits this terrific game has for you and your dogs. Lastly, we will be recommending some of our favourite hard-wearing and responsibly made dog toys, for playing this globally loved game with your furry friends.
A Brief History of Tug of War
Although the origins of tug of war cannot be traced exactly there is a lot of evidence to show that it has been played for thousands of years. In China, tug of war appears in writings between the 5th and 8th centuries BC and was used to train soldiers during the Tang dynasty. During this time emperors were known to organise massive games of tug of war with up to 500 tuggers on each team and over 150 metres of rope!
There is concrete proof of tug of war being played ever since then, all over the world. From the ancient Greeks using it to train young warriors and prepare them for battle in heavy armour to the Vikings playing it over an open fire pit, adding an extra ferocious level to the game, as the Vikings would! In more recent history, tug of war was a popular game amongst sailors, who would revel in the chance to show off their prowess with rigging.
This gruelling game was even popular enough to earn itself a place at the Olympic games as a sport in the athletics programme, between the years of 1900 and 1920, with us Britons being the most successful nation during this time. The sport is still a part of the World Games to this day, which is a series of games consisting of sports that are not in the modern Olympics, contested by teams from all over the world every four years.
Benefits of Tug of War for Dogs and Dog Owners
Contrary to popular, tug of war is not a game that has detrimental effects on our dogs. Tug games can help to promote healthy impulse control and confidence, as well as help to strengthen the bond between dog and owner. On top of this, it is a great way to burn excess energy for your dogs, as well as helping to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
When playing tug games with your dogs, letting them win allows them to be able to celebrate with their prize and, crucially, gives them the choice to bring it back to you, teaching them that engaging with you is fun. This helps to solidify the bond between owner and dog which nurtures trust and can improve training.
Tug games are also great for impulse control lessons, with essential commands such as “wait” and “drop” easily integrated into them.
Tug Toys for Playful Pups
At Natural Cornish Pet we have a wonderful selection of terrific tug toys that are perfect for those dogs who love to challenge you to a tug of war, from durable plush toys to resplendent rubber toys that are made especially for those dogs who love to play all day long.
Kong is a company that is known the world over for their hard-wearing toys for dogs and they have stepped up with their tug toys too. Our favourite here at Natural Cornish Pet is the Classic Kong with Rope, as it can be used for a huge variety of games aside from tug and has the durability that is synonymous with all Kong toys.
For those dogs who prefer a softer toy to tug on, the Kong Tugger Knots Moose fits the bill perfectly. This toy has knotted ropes inside for a realistic feel, has two easily gripped rope loops at each end and a squeaker for an extra layer of stimulation during your endless games of tug. Alongside all this, Kong Tugger Knot toys have that Kong seal of approval, so you'll know they will last for many games, however hard you play.