September 22, 2023

For Dog People

By Niki Stojnic

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For many canine, tug-of-war is a love-at-first-bite form of recreation. That’s positively true of our Australian Cattle Dog combine rescue, Pepper. She’s received a ton of vitality and likes to play. She will carry you nearly any toy for a possible spherical of tug, even outdated plushies which can be barely hanging on by a thread. However, taking part in with canine tug-of-war toys might be as a lot of a exercise for her people as it’s for her. So I used to be thrilled to be taught that some toy makers have provide you with tug toys {that a} canine can play with on their very own with just a bit human supervision.

Why Do Dogs Need Toys?

Dogs want psychological stimulation and bodily exercise so that they keep wholesome—and are good and drained sufficient they gained’t get an opportunity to be harmful. Sometimes, although, you’re not fairly as much as the duty of roughhousing together with your canine and wish another possibility that retains them busy with out your enter.


The must entertain high-energy pups has led to some inventive options. That features a new wave of high-tech canine toys for indoor play (try Pepper’s Wickedbone sensible bone evaluate) together with the other: some decidedly low-tech however efficient toy and recreation concepts that enable your canine to play independently. This led us to the world of self-playing canine tug-of-war toys.

The idea is fairly easy: an extended strap that wraps round a tree or construction is related to a bungee twine, and a rope toy is related to the tip of the bungee. There are a handful of tug toys like this in the marketplace, however for testing functions, we checked out XiaZ’s tug of battle toy for canine.

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Unboxing the Dog Tug-of-War Toy

The XiaZ tug-of-war set got here in a helpful carry bag—a enjoyable bonus meaning simple storage and may encourage you to take this tug toy with you, so you may set it up wherever there’s a powerful assist and your canine would possibly want slightly distraction.

It is available in two elements: the primary strap that has a big built-in carabiner that loops round your construction, and the strap with a bungee part and a rope toy on the tip, which you hook up with the loop through the carabiner. The bungee helps give the brilliant orange rope toy some additional motion when your canine pulls.

Dog pulls on rope end of tug-of-war toy secured to a pergola.

Pepper demonstrates tips on how to use a tug-of-war toy.

Pepper’s Reaction

Pepper is aware of a toy for her when she sees it, and this vivid contraption had all of the marks of enjoyable occasions forward. She’s a seasoned tugger, so she fairly immediately grabbed the knotted rope on the finish of the lengthy strap earlier than I even had an opportunity to connect it to something.

I connected the tug-of-war toy strap to a strong wooden pergola. There are a few methods to regulate the size: you should utilize the buckle on the bungee strap itself, or you may merely wrap the strap round your chosen anchor as a lot or as little as you need. We began with an extended bungee to see how issues would play out. But our devoted chewer determined she might perhaps get that rope free by sawing it off on the ribbon together with her tooth in between strong tug periods.

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So we shortened the strap so the canine tug-of-war toy was swinging as a substitute, and Pepper couldn’t simply attain the bungee/rope connection. This gave it extra motion, with Pepper stretching the bungee and letting it go, chasing it, catching it, and beginning another time.

It labored nice—Pepper put her full 40-pound self into pulling on that rope. The bits the place she had chewed into the strap of the tug-of-war toy have been holding as robust as ever.

Later, we had her buddy be part of her, an Old English Sheepdog. She instantly caught on to the sport too.

black-and-tan dog with rope toy and Old English Sheepdog watching

“Check this factor out!”

Old English Sheepdog and Cattle Dog mix both tugging on rope toy

Pepper and her finest buddy Freya check out the canine tug-of-war toy.

We had many play periods with this canine tug-of-war toy, and every time Pepper seems to be ahead to taking part in with it. When completed, I wrap the tip of the toy up excessive to provide Pepper a break. She has a number of occasions been out within the yard and seemed up on the toy, ready for me to unwrap it.

XiaZ Tug-of-War Toy

dog playing with tug toy wrapped around tree

Find on Amazon

Is This Dog Tug Toy Worth It?

Absolutely! This canine tug-of-war toy is a good evolution of a traditional toy that lets canine play independently and pet dad and mom take a break from taking part in yet one more spherical of tug themselves. (We love tug video games, in fact! But maybe not fairly as a lot as our canine.)


  • No studying curve in your canine—simply set it up and allow them to go.
  • Multiple methods to configure it, relying on the place you wish to dangle it and the way excessive.
  • Got a chewer? You can merely substitute the rope if it will get worn out. If your canine chews the ribbon (like Pepper did), you may possible simply tie a brand new knot to “repair” it.
  • It’s sturdy and weather-resistant—even after that little chew session, the strap remains to be holding robust, and we’ve to date left it outdoors rain or shine.
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Cons: None that we might discover!

Dogs of every kind are very prone to wish to give this robust, low-tech toy a whirl, notably in the event that they’re keen on rope toys and tug video games usually. Humans will love that they will let their canine run outdoors and have at it with just a bit supervision—plus they will get in on the enjoyable any time by shifting it round and difficult their canine to catch it.

Further Reading

  • Our Readers’ 23 Favorite Dog Chew Toys
  • 3 Simple Rules for Playing Tug With Your Dog
  • The Best Dog Rope Toys for Fetch, Tug-of-War, and Dental Hygiene

Niki Stojnic has been masking personalities, locations, and traits in Seattle and the PNW for 20 years, as a author and an editor. Her favourite recommendation of all time got here when getting ready to go to honeybee hives for a narrative: “Don’t appear to be a bear.” She’s the cofounder of Parts & Labor, a bimonthly e-newsletter about ladies. She at present lives with a yellow sided inexperienced cheek conure, Mango, and just lately adopted a candy rescue pup from Texas, Pepper.

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