A couple of days ago Indra and I went outside to work a little on obedience and to play tug of war. Since hubby got ready for deployment I hadn't really done anything with the dogs at all. We just spend time together, went on long walks and enjoyed each others company.
Anyhow, we went outside with the StarMarks Everlasting Funball. Indra loves that ball and so far it's been the only ball that they haven't destroyed within seconds, minutes or days. That ball is over a year old and it's still got the string and is going strong.
However, we were in the middle of playing tug when some stranger stopped by. I believe he lives in the neighborhood. He flat out told me not to play tug with Indra. I asked him why he feels I shouldn't play with her and he said that I don't have control over my dog and she would attack me in the long run. No matter how much control, I think I have, tug of war is bad for dogs...
Oookay... to be honest, I think it's silly. First of all, you can play tug of war with any sound dog as long as you start and end the game. Secondly, tug of war, if done correctly is a wonderful and powerful way to reward a dog.
For Indra, it is THE reward. No food, no bone, no rope or tug is more powerful than that ball. She loves that thing, she obsesses over it and therefor it's the best and most powerful way to work her with that ball. Since she's got a pretty good grip we can even use it to play tug of war and I do believe that I've got enough control that I don't really have to worry about a vicious attack from my own dog. ;)