How to win tug of war – How to Win at Tug of War

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How to Win at Tug of War

Tug of war is a classic game that’s frequently played at children’s parties and family gatherings. In a game of tug of war, 2 teams stand at opposite ends of a rope and try to tug the rope until the majority of it is pulled over their side of the center line or marker. However, the game isn’t as easy as it seems! There’s plenty of strategy that goes into winning tug of war, and a lot of it has to do with the team’s positioning and their technique.

EditSteps

EditPositioning the Team

  1. Gather 8 people of varying sizes and strength levels. The great thing about tug of war is that you can learn how to win as a team, even if you don’t have the strongest people on your side! For organized leagues, you might also want to recruit 1-2 extra people as alternates in case someone gets hurt or has to miss a match.[1]
    • If you’re planning to play in a league, make sure the combined weight of the people on your team is less than the stated rules, which can vary depending on the age group.
  2. Place a more experienced team member at the front to lead the tug. This person will act as the “leader” of the group. Choose someone who is a medium height for the team and has played tug of war before. This person should be able to keep a good grip on the rope while in a squatting position and have a lot of lower body strength to keep the front of the line from becoming too strained.[2]
    • It might be helpful to have the teammates stand from tallest to shortest and then pick one of the people close to the middle to be the lead tugger.
  3. Stagger the middle teammates based on their skills to encourage teamwork. Position a less experienced member in between 2 more experienced members of the team so they can communicate throughout the game. That way, the knowledgeable teammates can set the pace of the tug and less experienced teammates can work on building up endurance and strength.[3]
    • Talking and communicating throughout the game can be helpful for some members, but remember not to give away your strategy to the other team!
  4. Position someone with good endurance at the back of the team. Choose someone with good lower body strength and put them at the end of the rope so they can “anchor” the team. Make sure they’re strong enough to continually pull the team back while maintaining a tight grip on the rope.[4]
    • In general, the anchor normally wraps the rope around their back and keeps the team moving backward.
    • Normally, the anchor will set the pace for the tugging by taking a step back every 3-4 seconds. If the rest of the team can’t keep up, it’s up to the anchor to keep their grip and slow down so the rest of the team can reposition themselves.

EditPerfecting Your Technique

  1. Grip the rope firmly with your palms up and hands positioned close together. Stand on the left side of the rope and pick up the rope with your right hand. Cradle the rope with your palm up, and place your left hand either right in front or right behind your right hand. Close your fist around the rope so that your thumbs are facing upward.[5]
    • Some sources recommend dusting your hands with chalk to help you grip the rope. This works well for some people, but you can still win without it!
  2. Squat and lean back to dig your heels into the ground when the whistle blows. When you line up for the game, position your feet so that they’re about shoulder-width apart, and squat down so your knees are bent slightly. When the game begins, lean back at a 45-degree angle with your back straight to dig your heels into the ground and hold yourself in place. Don’t pull or tug on the rope just yet, and instead let your weight do the work for you![6]
    • If you bend your back or knees too much, you can cause unnecessary muscle strain, which can harm your endurance.
  3. Take small steps backward as a team, digging in with your heels. Before the match, talk to your teammates and plan to take a step back every 3-4 seconds, starting with your left foot. When the game starts, carefully lift and plant your left heel about behind where it began. Then, repeat this with the right heel to slowly move backward, moving the other team. If you can, try taking larger steps as the opposing team begins to get tired.[7]
    • You shouldn’t be pulling or tugging on the rope. Instead, just hold it tightly and keep it close to your body as you move back.
    • You can talk to the player in front of you and listen to the player behind you throughout the game. However, avoid saying things like “pull” or “move back” during the game, as the other team might hear you and have time to get into a better position.
  4. Keep your left leg straight and push off of it as you move back to counterattack. If you’re losing your footing, try turning your body toward the rope on your right side to set up a counterattack move. Dig your left foot into the ground horizontally to slow any forward movement, and push off of it to propel your body backward. Shuffle your feet back at a time as you push yourself backward.[8]
    • If you can’t pull back, just try to stay in place until the other team gets too tired to keep pulling. Then, it might be easier to start moving again.

EditWarnings

  • Never wrap the rope around your hands to tug. This can cause you to strain your wrist or break a bone in your hand.

EditRelated wikiHows

  • Play Tug of War
  • Play Catch and Pull Tug of War

EditSources and Citations

EditQuick Summary

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How to Win at Tug of War — TV and TOOLS and EMU

Tug of war is a classic game that’s frequently played at children’s parties and family gatherings. In

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, 2 teams stand at opposite ends of a rope and try to tug the rope until the majority of it is pulled over their side of the center line or marker. However, the game isn’t as easy as it seems! There’s plenty of strategy that goes into winning tug of war, and a lot of it has to do with the team’s positioning and their technique.


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Steps


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Positioning the Team

  1. Gather 8 people of varying sizes and strength levels. The great thing about tug of war is that you can learn how to win as a team, even if you don’t have the strongest people on your side! For organized leagues, you might also want to recruit 1-2 extra people as alternates in case someone gets hurt or has to miss a match.[1]

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    • If you’re planning to play in a league, make sure the combined weight of the people on your team is less than the stated rules, which can vary depending on the age group.
  2. Place a more experienced team member at the front to lead the tug. This person will act as the “leader” of the group. Choose someone who is a medium height for the team and has played tug of war before. This person should be able to keep a good grip on the rope while in a squatting position and have a lot of lower body strength to keep the front of the line from becoming too strained.[2]

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    • It might be helpful to have the teammates stand from tallest to shortest and then pick one of the people close to the middle to be the lead tugger.
  3. Stagger the middle teammates based on their skills to encourage teamwork. Position a less experienced member in between 2 more experienced members of the team so they can communicate throughout the game. That way, the knowledgeable teammates can set the pace of the tug and less experienced teammates can work on building up endurance and strength.[3]

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    • Talking and communicating throughout the game can be helpful for some members, but remember not to give away your strategy to the other team!
  4. Position someone with good endurance at the back of the team. Choose someone with good lower body strength and put them at the end of the rope so they can “anchor” the team. Make sure they’re strong enough to continually pull the team back while maintaining a tight grip on the rope.[4]

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    • In general, the anchor normally wraps the rope around their back and keeps the team moving backward.
    • Normally, the anchor will set the pace for the tugging by taking a step back every 3-4 seconds. If the rest of the team can’t keep up, it’s up to the anchor to keep their grip and slow down so the rest of the team can reposition themselves.


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Perfecting Your Technique

  1. Grip the rope firmly with your palms up and hands positioned close together. Stand on the left side of the rope and pick up the rope with your right hand. Cradle the rope with your palm up, and place your left hand either right in front or right behind your right hand. Close your fist around the rope so that your thumbs are facing upward.[5]

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    • Some sources recommend dusting your hands with chalk to help you grip the rope. This works well for some people, but you can still win without it!
  2. Squat and lean back to dig your heels into the ground when the whistle blows. When you line up for the game, position your feet so that they’re about shoulder-width apart, and squat down so your knees are bent slightly. When the game begins, lean back at a 45-degree angle with your back straight to dig your heels into the ground and hold yourself in place. Don’t pull or tug on the rope just yet, and instead let your weight do the work for you![6]

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    • If you bend your back or knees too much, you can cause unnecessary muscle strain, which can harm your endurance.
  3. Take small steps backward as a team, digging in with your heels. Before the match, talk to your teammates and plan to take a step back every 3-4 seconds, starting with your left foot. When the game starts, carefully lift and plant your left heel about behind where it began. Then, repeat this with the right heel to slowly move backward, moving the other team. If you can, try taking larger steps as the opposing team begins to get tired.[7]

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    • You shouldn’t be pulling or tugging on the rope. Instead, just hold it tightly and keep it close to your body as you move back.
    • You can talk to the player in front of you and listen to the player behind you throughout the game. However, avoid saying things like “pull” or “move back” during the game, as the other team might hear you and have time to get into a better position.
  4. Keep your left leg straight and push off of it as you move back to counterattack. If you’re losing your footing, try turning your body toward the rope on your right side to set up a counterattack move. Dig your left foot into the ground horizontally to slow any forward movement, and push off of it to propel your body backward. Shuffle your feet back at a time as you push yourself backward.[8]

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    • If you can’t pull back, just try to stay in place until the other team gets too tired to keep pulling. Then, it might be easier to start moving again.


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Warnings

  • Never wrap the rope around your hands to tug. This can cause you to strain your wrist or break a bone in your hand.


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Related wikiHows


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Sources and Citations


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Quick Summary

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How to Win at Tug of War

Source: wikiHow

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Co-Authored

Tug of war is a classic game that’s frequently played at children’s parties and family gatherings. In a game of tug of war, 2 teams stand at opposite ends of a rope and try to tug the rope until the majority of it is pulled over their side of the center line or marker. However, the game isn’t as easy as it seems! There’s plenty of strategy that goes into winning tug of war, and a lot of it has to do with the team’s positioning and their technique.

  1. 1 Gather 8 people of varying sizes and strength levels. The great thing about tug of war is that you can learn how to win as a team, even if you don’t have the strongest people on your side! For organized leagues, you might also want to recruit 1-2 extra people as alternates in case someone gets hurt or has to miss a match.[1]
    • If you’re planning to play in a league, make sure the combined weight of the people on your team is less than the stated rules, which can vary depending on the age group.
  2. 2 Place a more experienced team member at the front to lead the tug. This person will act as the “leader” of the group. Choose someone who is a medium height for the team and has played tug of war before. This person should be able to keep a good grip on the rope while in a squatting position and have a lot of lower body strength to keep the front of the line from becoming too strained.[2]
    • It might be helpful to have the teammates stand from tallest to shortest and then pick one of the people close to the middle to be the lead tugger.
  3. 3 Stagger the middle teammates based on their skills to encourage teamwork. Position a less experienced member in between 2 more experienced members of the team so they can communicate throughout the game. That way, the knowledgeable teammates can set the pace of the tug and less experienced teammates can work on building up endurance and strength.[3]
    • Talking and communicating throughout the game can be helpful for some members, but remember not to give away your strategy to the other team!
  4. 4 Position someone with good endurance at the back of the team. Choose someone with good lower body strength and put them at the end of the rope so they can “anchor” the team….

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Tug Of War Rules — How To Play Tug Of War

Tug of war, rope war or rope pulling is a game which everyone might have played as a child. It is a game projecting the potency and will power of the players. To play the game, the players are divided into two groups of equal numbers each. A testimony of strength, the main objective of the game is to pull the members of the opposition team or a certain part of the rope into your own area. This is an entertaining game and gets more interesting when both the teams try their level best to pull the opposition using all their strength, falling and screaming out their lungs in the process. However, just as other games, tug of war also has certain defined rules. These rules and regulations guide this war like game  and help players play a healthy and unbiased game. 

How To Play Tug Of War

 

The Rope

The game involves usage of single equipment i.e. a rope. In an official competition, the rope is required to be at least 115 feet long. There is a red mark made in the middle of the rope. This red mark on the rope needs to be at a perpendicular angle to the exact centre point on the ground, before the commencement of the game. A white mark is made exactly 13 feet from the red mark on either sides of the rope. The game is won when either side with this white mark crosses the centre point.

 

Weigh In

This game requires certain weight requirements as well. There are 5 different weight divisions in an official game. These divisions range from 1234 pounds per team to 1587 pounds per team. Before the start of the game, each player is weighed individually and this number is stamped on a part of their body which is easily visible.

 

Teams

According to the rules of tug of war, each team can accommodate a maximum of 8 members. However the combined weight of these members should not exceed the weight determined for the particular category.

 

Field and Marking

The game has to be played on a flat grassy patch of land. A line referred to as a centre line is marked on the playing zone and the rope is placed in a manner that its centre mark should align the centre marked on the ground. On either sides of the rope at the distance of 4 m from the centre line, 2 more marks need to be made. This is the point where in the first member of each team will stand.

 

How to Play

As mentioned earlier, the centre of the rope should align with the centre marked on the ground. As soon as the referee blows the whistle, each team can start pulling the rope into their territory. The objective of the game is for each team to pull the rope along with the members of opposition team to their side. As soon as the second mark on the rope from the centre red mark crosses over to centre line, the team to pull the rope to their area wins the game.

 

Competition

The tug of war competition requires a judge. There are 3 different commands that the judge gives to the players. The judge first announces “Pick up the rope”, he then says “Take the string”, and finally he tells the players to “Pull”. Once the pull command is said out the teams start pulling the rope. If a member of the team falls down that member is given a caution. Each team is allowed two cautions before getting disqualified.

 

Fouls

There is a particular technique that needs to be applied while playing this game, if not then there will be a foul which can call in for disqualifications. For e.g. lowering your elbow below the knee level while pulling the rope is considered to be a foul and is called ‘locking’. Touching the ground for a longer period of time is also considered as a foul.

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Why Do Dogs Like Tug of War? And Should I Let Him Win?

You’re lounging around on the couch, waiting for Game of Thrones to come on and wondering what it’s like to own a Direwolf. Just as the opening music starts, your very own Rover comes and presses a rope toy into your leg, tail wagging and eyes hopeful. He wants to play tug. But why?

Why Do Dogs Like Tug of War So Much? There Are a Few Potential Reasons…

The reality is, it’s pretty hard to know exactly why dogs like tug of war so much. (So far, we haven’t figured out how to ask our dogs what’s going on in their mind).

While we can’t know for sure, we do have a few good guesses as to why dogs like tug of war so much.

According to most scientists and modern dog trainers, there are three main explanations for why dogs like tug of war so much.

Reason 1: It’s a Collaborative Game

In this explanation, dogs play tug as a way to strengthen bonds. It’s a fun game that can be played between two dogs.

Play is a great way to build trust between two parties, and tug is a great game to play that uses different muscles and parts of the brain from chase or wrestling.

This doesn’t really explain why it’s fun, though. Since most play and games in mammals originates with a function (chase games strengthen muscles and practice for the hunt, for example), it’s fair to assume that tug of war has a purpose behind its play. That’s where the next two explanations come in.

Reason 2: It Mimics Predation

This explanation suggests that tugging on a rope toy is like shaking and killing some imaginary prey. This makes sense, as it’s a functional game.

Your doe-eyed Rover is actually practicing his ripping, tearing, and tugging skills for when he gets ahold of the Easter Bunny! This makes that fun rope toy game a bit darker, doesn’t it?

Personally, I think this explanation better suits dogs that shake, squeak, and then pull the stuffing out of squeaky toys. Tug is a team game, whereas this type of predation is not.

Reason 3: It’s Like Tearing Up A Carcass

This is my favorite explanation.

The idea here is that tug is actually a game based off of tearing bits off of a dead animal. Still morbid, yes – but instead of shaking and killing a small mammal, tug is a game based off of pulling hard-to-detach morsels off of a dead elk or deer. They might do this on their own by pulling meat from a bone, or two dogs might help each other tear off bits of food.

Most trainers don’t view tug as a competition. If the goal were to win (taking all the meat for themselves in this explanation), why would Rover come back for more when you drop the toy? It’s fun and games – not a competition!

Regardless of whether Rover is trying to finish the hunt by shaking and killing his prey, or trying to tear bits of food from a bone, tug is a fun way to spend time with your dog.

With some rule-setting, tug is a great way to build bonds and work on some basic training.

The Benefits of Playing Tug With Your Dog

There are plenty of reasons for humans to love to play tug of war, too. There are many benefits to playing tug of war with your dog. Benefits of playing tug of war with your dog include:

  • Exercise. Tug of war is a great way to get some energy out! It’s hard to beat tug as a game that you can play indoors that burns off some energy on cold or rainy days. Just be sure to keep an eye on your dog’s neck, back, and shoulders to avoid injury!
  • Collaboration. Tug is a collaborative game that can help build relationships between dog and owner. Many trainers prefer tug over fetch for that reason – it’s a better way to bond.
  • Teeth cleaning. Some tug toys are specially designed to help floss your dog’s teeth. While I haven’t seen any specific studies about how effective this is, many websites talk about the benefits of flossing tug toys.
  • Satisfaction of instincts. Whether dogs are practicing for the kill or preparing to rip apart their food, tug is an instinctive game that serves a purpose. Since your dog likely doesn’t get to do either of these activities in his daily life, tug is a great way to get that urge out!
  • Increase confidence. Some shy dogs really open up with a good game of tug. Playing this collaborative game can help them come out of their shell and trust people more. It might take a while to coax them into playing with you, but once they tap into that instinct (mentioned above), many dogs really light up!
  • Training. You can use tug of war as a reward during training or even use the game itself as a way to train your dog new things. We’ll cover that in-depth later.

The Tug of War Controversy & Dominance Theory

Dominance. It’s a big scary word that’s thrown around a lot by dog owners, trainers, and veterinarians. It’s why you should never let your dog win tug. Right?

Right?

Well, probably not. Dominance, pack theory, and “alpha” explanations are all pretty poorly supported by science.

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, who know much more about this than you and I do, put out this position statement urging veterinarians, owners, and trainers to abandon “dominance theory” as it relates to dog-human relationships.

For a slightly easier-to-read breakdown of the science surrounding dominance theory, check out Dr. Sophia Yin’s instructive article on the dominance controversy. It’s got great videos demonstrating more scientifically sound ways to train dogs that avoid “dominance,” pain, fear, and intimidation!

So, how does this whole debunked dominance theory relate to tug of war?

You’ve probably heard it before. You have to “win” the game 100% of the time. Or maybe the human has to win 90% of the time. Perhaps you always have to initiate the game. Breaking any of these rules runs the risk of letting Rover get it into his head that he rules the roost. And then before you know it, Rover will be sitting in your favorite spot on the couch, eating your chips and downing your favorite flavors of seltzer water like he owns the place.

While I don’t have an issue with many of these rules, I do take issue with the underlying beliefs. Letting Rover win tug of war won’t mean that he’s suddenly alpha, leader of the pack, and dominant over you – don’t stress about it!

While winning is a non-issue, there are a few different rules we suggest you implement while playing a round of tug. These rules keep everyone safe and happy!

The 10 Rules of Tug

Rules around the game of tug are important. I always recommend playing tug of war with your dogs only with certain rules in place.

These rules are meant to keep the game fun and safe for everyone – not to stop Rover from taking over your house.

Rule #1. Humans Initiate Tug of War – At Least At First

It might be cute at first when Rover presses a toy into your leg. But if Rover’s a total tug fiend, this can get annoying fast.

The goal of this rule is to teach your dog that being pushy and demanding with the toy doesn’t earn him the right to play. Otherwise, you risk teaching your dog to follow you around barking until you take up the tug!

Avoid demanding dogs by only playing tug when you initiate the game – at least at first.

Demanding dogs aren’t trying to dominate you – they just want you to do fun things with them. Teach your dog that he gets good things by being polite instead of rude, and your life together will be much easier.

After six months of owning Barley, I’m finally letting him start some games of tug. I ignore him if I’m not in the mood or busy, and then reward him with a cookie when he gives up and goes to lie down.

Rule #2. Rover Drops The Tug Toy When Asked

This is really important for your safety, but that’s not why I always do it with my own dog.

I constantly practice asking Barley to “drop it” during tug games because that’s a great way to practice the “drop it” cue!

If Barley can spit out a tug toy when he’s in the middle of his second-favorite game (fetch is his favorite), he’s more likely to spit out that dead squirrel on our next run.

I taught Barley to do this willingly by asking him to spit out the toy every 3-5 seconds during tug games. If he spits the toy out, I praise him and we start the game again. Rinse and repeat. If he doesn’t spit the toy out, I drop it and walk away. Game over!

This bums him out (more evidence that he’s not trying to “win” any game here) and he follows me around with the toy. I don’t start tug again unless he drops the toy and sits down.

Rule #3. When the Human Says the Game is Over, the Game is Over

This ties into both rules #1 and #2. It’s a way to teach your dog impulse control, which is key to listening when you say “drop it.” It’s also a way to avoid creating a demanding dog.

I teach this by having one cue to drop the toy and pause the game (drop it) and another cue to end the game (all done).

When I want tug of war time to be over, I ask Barley to drop the toy. When he does, I say “all done,” put the tug toy away, and give him a stuffed Kong or other edible chew toy. The stuffed Kong gives him something else to do, is a good reward for listening to me, and helps calm him down.

Rule #4. If Rover’s Teeth Ever Touch His Human’s Hand, It’s Game Over

This rule is why I love tug of war. When Rover starts to learn that teeth on human skin makes the fun end, he’ll start learning bite inhibition. Read more about teaching bite inhibition in the “Teaching Through Tug” section of this article.

Rule #5. Tug of War Only Happens With Certain Toys

This rule should be easy if you follow Rule #1 (only play tug when the humans initiate the game).

This is important for keeping your dog and his toys safe. Some toys aren’t made to stand up to tug of war games. If they tear or break, they might be dangerous to your dog.

When I adopted Barley, he had a bad habit of trying to play tug with his frisbee. He destroyed two while the dogsitter was over because she didn’t know that we only play tug with rope toys! Now I communicate this rule to everyone who plays with Barley.

Rule #6. If the Human Can’t Control the Game, the Human Can’t Play the Game

This means small children shouldn’t play tug with large dogs for safety reasons. It also means that if you’ve just adopted a 120 pound St. Bernard who has no manners, you probably shouldn’t play tug yet.

Rover needs to have some manners before you play – this keeps everyone safe.

Rule #7. Dogs With a History of Resource Guarding or Human-Directed Aggression Shouldn’t Play Tug

If your dog stiffens, stares, growls, or worse when you try to take toys away, he’s not a good candidate for tug of war. Even if your dog loves tug of war, your safety comes first.

The same goes for dogs that have a history of being aggressive towards people that they know.

Talk to a certified trainer (IAABC or APDT) if you’re not sure whether or not it’s safe to play with your dog.

Some dogs that are fearful or aggressive towards strangers might still be able to play with their beloved owners, while others should play more hands-off games entirely.

Rule #8. Dogs With Fragile Teeth Shouldn’t Play Tug

It should go without saying that dogs with dental issues shouldn’t be playing tug. It’s not worth the veterinary bills, no matter how much your dog likes tug of war.

Check with your vet if you’re not sure what your dog’s dental condition is like! Little pups should often hold off on rough games of tug, as their baby teeth can pop out.

While those puppy teeth will come out eventually, losing them in a game of tug can potentially upset the direction of your dog’s adult teeth, so make sure your pup is dentally-cleared for tug by your vet before playing.

Rule #9. Dogs With Neck, Shoulder, or Back Issues Shouldn’t Play Tug

This also seems obvious, but it should be said. It’s easy for dogs to strain their muscles, just like their human parents!

If you notice that Rover is stiff or hesitant to move, see your vet right away and stop playing tug. It could just be a little soreness or muscle knot, but you don’t want a vigorous game of tug to hurt your dog further!

Rule #10. When Rover Drops the Toy on Cue, the Human Pays Rover For His Hard Work

Our last rule is for the humans. So far, most of the above rules dictate that the dog must do what the human wants. That’s how most dog-human relationships work – but I firmly believe that this is a two way street.

When a dog does what I ask him to do (drop a tug toy, come when called), I should pay him for his work. I wouldn’t do my job without being paid, even though I love the work and I love my boss. The same goes for dogs!

As Grisha Stewart says in her excellent dog training manual, if you can’t think of a reason for your dog to listen to you, he probably can’t either.

I implement this by frequently re-starting the tug game when Barley drops. He learns that listening when I say “drop it” actually re-starts the game! When the game is over, I give him an edible chew item to reward him for exercising restraint and listening to me.

It’s ok if you don’t always have treats on you or a way to reward Rover. The key is to reward him often enough that he’s still happy to comply when you ask him to stop the fun!

Want more tips on proper tug play? Check out the video below with advice from dog training pro Victoria Stilwell:

Teaching Through Tug: Why Humans Should Love Tug, Too!

When you’ve got the rules laid out and tug toys at the ready, it’s time to play some tug! Dogs like tug of war, and it’s a fun way to spend time with your dog. But if you want, playing tug of war with your dog is also a great way to teach some manners and tricks!

You can use tug of war to teach your dog:

Impulse Control

Many dogs struggle with impulse control. These dogs struggle to think clearly and respond to cues when they’re excited.

If you practice asking your dog to drop the toy in the midst of a good tugging bout, this is a great way to practice impulse control! When your dog is a champ at dropping the tug toy as soon as you ask, you can start asking him to “drop it,” then “sit” before getting the toy back!

Teaching your dog to respond to cues when he’s amped up is easy when you use tug as a teaching game!

Bite Inhibition

This is one of the most important skills a dog can have – to moderate his teeth around human hands. All dogs can and will bite, so how hard they bite is important. Tug is a great way to teach your dog to mind his teeth.

You can either end the game entirely when Rover’s teeth touch your hand, or you can take a 10-30 second timeout. I simply say “ouch!” and drop the tug toy, then turn my back on Barley for a few seconds. When he drops the toy and sits, I’ll start the game again.

In operant conditioning terms, this is negative punishment. Basically, we’re reducing an unwanted behavior (teeth on fingers) by taking away something good (the fun tug game). We then use positive reinforcement by giving the dog a good thing (the tug game) in order to reward a good behavior (sitting calmly).

New Tricks

If your dog simply adores tug of war, you can use it as a training tool!

I used tug of war as a reward for Barley at the end of each Nosework class. Tug is a great way to finish up a training session or reward your dog for learning something new.

I recommend following up tug sessions with a more relaxing activity like Karen Pryor’s Mat Protocol so that Rover doesn’t finish a training session turned to 100mph!

Not to mention, collaborative games like tug are a great way to bond with your dog!

Training through tug is the main reason that many trainers love tug of war so much – myself included. Try out some of these skills and maybe you’ll start loving tug as much as Rover already does!

Trainer’s Top Tug Toys: Our Recommend Picks

Ready to get started? Let’s look at a few good tug toys that you can get on Amazon so that you can start enjoying tug with your dog ASAP!

For the Tug Maniacs: Mammoth Flossy Chews Cottonblend Color 5-Knot Rope Tug – I love this super-long tug toy for games. It also comes in a five-foot-long version. It’s particularly great for big dogs, dogs that adjust their grip frequently, or overly exuberant starters. The length of this toy has saved my fingers a few times when Barley lunged for it a bit too fast in a burst of excitement!

For the Small but Mighty: Otterly Pets Puppy Dog Pet Rope Toys For Small to Medium Dogs is perfect for smaller dogs. It’s actually a pack of four different tug toys, so you can try them all out and see what Rover likes best! This is also a great option for multi-dog households.

For the Dentist’s Dog: Booda Fresh N Floss 3 Knot Tug Rope Dog Toy is actually made with real dental floss. It also contains baking soda to help fight plaque and tartar. Best of all, it comes in plenty of sizes for different dogs. If you only get one tug toy, this might be your best bet – it kills all the birds with one stone.

The bottom line is, tug of war is a game and it’s fun! That’s why even if your dog “wins” the game, he often comes back for more. Tug is a game – not a struggle for dominance!

Does you dog love tug? How to do you feel about it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

www.k9ofmine.com

Tug of War

Would it be possible for two teams in a tug-o-war to overcome the ultimate tensile strength of an iron rod and pull it apart? How big would the teams have to be?

—Markus Andersen

A couple dozen people could pull a half-inch iron rod apart.

Tug-of-war, a simple game in which two teams try to pull a rope in opposite directions, has a surprisingly bloody history.

I don’t mean that there’s some kind of gruesome historical forerunner of modern tug-of-war.[1]Although it’s definitely an ancient sport, so I’m sure people have come up with all kinds of horrific variations over the centuries that I don’t really want to spend hours reading about. Humans seem to be creative when it comes to that kind of thing. I mean that modern tug-of-war involves a lot more death and mutilation than you might expect—precisely because people underestimate how few people it takes to break «strong» things like heavy rope.

As detailed in a riveting article in Priceonomics, recent games of tug-of-war have resulted in hundreds of serious injuries and numerous deaths—all caused, one way or another, by ropes snapping. In particular, this seems to happen when large groups of students try to set a world record for largest tug-of-war game. When a rope under many tons of tension suddenly snaps, the recoiling ends can—and do—cause a terrifying variety of injuries.

Before we answer Markus’s question, it’s worth noting that the physics of tug-of-war can be a little tricky. It seems like common sense that the «stronger» team has an advantage, but that’s not quite right. To win, you need to resist sliding forward better than the other team. If you can’t resist sliding, then increasing your arm strength means you’ll just pull yourself forward. Since sliding friction is often proportional to weight, tug-of-war on many surfaces is simply a contest over who’s heavier.[2]Champion tug-of-war teams focus on body angle, footwork, digging into the ground, and timing pulls to throw off the other team. The strongest team in the world would lose a tug-of-war with a six-year-old and a sack of bricks, as long as the sack had a firm grip.

So, how much force can tug-of-war players exert?

A 2011 paper analyzing the immune systems of several «elite tug-of-war players»[3]The paper notes that «Few studies have been done to examine the effects of [the] tug-of-war sport on physiological responses,» which seems likely enough to me. measured their average pull force (on a school gym floor) to be about 102.5 kilograms-force, or about 1.5x their body weight.

The ultimate tensile strength of cast iron is about 200 megapascals (MPa), so we can use a simple formula to figure out how many players would be needed to break one.

\[ \text{People required}=\frac{\pi\times\left(\tfrac{1}{4}\text{ inch} \right )^2\times200\text{ MPa}}{102.5\text{ kg}/\text{person}}\approx25\text{ people} \]

Two teams of 25 people[4]I originally wrote 25 people total, forgetting that two people pulling with 100 units of force each will produce 100 units of tension on the rope, not 200! Thank you for Gordon McDonough for pointing this out. could probably pull a half-inch iron bar apart. An inch-thick iron bar could be torn in half by teams of 101 people,[5]People often play tug-of-war with their dogs. Going by weight alone, 30 humans would probably be about evenly matched against 101 dalmatians. and a 2-inch-diameter bar would need over 400. It’s hard to have a tug-of-war with something thicker than about 2 inches. Since you’re not allowed to install handles on the rope,[6]Or wrap it around your hand, for reasons which will become clear if you read some of the articles on tug-of-war injuries. it has to be narrow enough to grip easily.

While «400 people» may be the limit for plain iron bars, there are much stronger substances out there. Common types of steel, for example, have a tensile strength about 10 times that of cast iron. Common half-inch rebar, for example, would in theory take teams of over 200 people to pull apart, compared to 25 for cast iron. Other substances are even stronger; a half-inch shaft made from high-grade steel or a polymer like Kevlar (or, theoretically, a solid silicon crystal) could handle the pulling force from teams of anywhere between 500 and 800 competitive tug-of-war players.

If we limit ourselves to a two-inch diameter rope, which seems to be about the maximum size for tug-of-wars,[7](William Safire returns from the grave to point out that it should really be tugs-of-war.) then the maximum number of tug-of-war players given a super-strong rope like Kevlar is in the neighborhood of 10,000.[8]Or several times that many, if they’re not very athletic.

If we figured out how to manufacture large ropes out of graphene ribbons, which have tensile strengths over 10 times higher than existing materials, we could theoretically support a tug-of-war between teams of up to 100,000 players each. Such a rope would be over 200 miles long, and could stretch from New York to Washington.

If our experience with nylon ropes failing is any indication, when the graphene finally snapped, the death toll could be enormous among both players and bystanders. Lengths of graphene would crack across the landscape like bullwhips, slicing down forests and demolishing buildings.

In the end, trying to develop stronger ropes leads only to greater danger to everyone, both participants and bystanders. In the ultimate game of tug-of-war …

… the only winning move is not to pull.

what-if.xkcd.com

What does it take to win a Tug of War?

  • English

    1. There was a tug-of-war on the playground. The teams drew at 2-2. 2. They did a tug-of-war in the playing field. The game ended in draw. 3. They played the tug-of war at the playground. Class 2-1 won the game at 3-2. (Would you

    asked by rfvv on December 6, 2016

  • Math

    What does it take to win a tug of war

    asked by Danielle on December 21, 2016

  • Geometry

    What does it take to win a tug of war?

    asked by Diego on August 31, 2010

  • Math

    What does it take to win a tug of war

    asked by Danielle on December 21, 2016

  • 9th grade

    what dose it take to win a tug of war?

    asked by bingbong on November 9, 2009

  • Math — Rate Of Change

    What does it take to win a tug of war? PUNCHLINE • Algebra • Book A 2006 March Mathworks

    asked by Anonymous on March 22, 2017

  • 4th grade

    IN A TUG OF WAR, 5 DONKEYS ARE EXACTLY EQUAL TO 2 ELEPHANTS. IN ANOTHER TUG OF WAR, 3 ELEPHANTS ARE EQUAL TO 1 CAR. WHICH TEAM SHOULD WIN IF A CAR AND 3 DONKEYS ARE MATCHED AGAINST 4 ELEPHANTS?

    asked by VIVI on November 14, 2009

  • physics

    Two people, one twice as massive as the other, try to play tug of war on a nearly frictionless, level, icy surface. When they begin to tug, they are 12 m apart. They tug by pulling the rope hand over hand, until their hands meet

    asked by jackie on December 8, 2014

  • physics — newtons 3rd law

    According to Newton’s third law, for every action force there is a reacgtion force, then how can a team win a tug of war contest

    asked by Shaila on August 23, 2010

  • physic

    4. The physics class is having a tug of war – the men against the women. For a long time the two teams are pulling with equal force and the knot in the centre of the rope isn’t going anywhere. But then one boy sneezes and

    asked by aishah on November 19, 2011

  • www.jiskha.com

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