One of Midori’s favorite games is Tug of War. All materials regarding dog obedience warn against playing Tug of War with one’s dog. To ensure a dog’s obedience, it’s human must ensure that it recognizes the human’s authority over them. Tug of War is a “dangerous” game because if the dog wins – the human’s Alpha Dog position is questioned.
My Beagle Midori had always been a dominant dog. It was difficult to get her to obey our commands – which eventually lead to her being sent to Obedience school. Those were three weeks spent away from us and with the trainer. When we got her back – it was as if she was a new dog. It’s been over a year since that training.
Today, Midori exhibits Jekyll and Hyde tendencies. One minute – she’s an angel and any command you give her she obeys. Then the next thing you know – she ignores you as if her floppy ears has an off switch somewhere we can’t see.
Tug of War is her favorite game … which is preceded by a game of tag. She grabs one of our stuff – and she then runs around the living room till we catch her to grab the “victim” of her game from her mouth. We command her to “give” the object to us willingly – we pull it from her --- and there are times she gives it up willingly. If she doe not – I get hold of her lips and open her mouth to free the object.
I have a confession – I actually enjoy this game that Midori plays. It’s simple and the “conflict” is resolved without drama. It does make me wish that the Tug of War in human interaction is that simple.