Puppy Tugging: Teaching the Release

In the video below, Sarah teaches her new border collie puppy Venture to release a tug toy. Trainers will often discourage people from teaching a release to puppies because they fear it may decrease drive. These trainers will advocate either taking the toy when the dog happens to drop it, or wrestling it from their mouths. Instead, follow these 3 steps below to increase your puppy’s tug drive by teaching a release.

Step 1: Immobilize the toy.

Step 2: Give your cue.

Step 3: Restart the game.

This method works because the puppy learns that releasing the tug will immediately lead to another great game of chase and tug! Remember, keep your puppy sessions very short. For more details, read our article on the same topic, with teenage and adult dogs.