Tobie sucks at tug’o’war.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is impatient.

A little morning sun has gone under heavy overcast and I’m waiting for the forecast snow to begin again. Tobie had lunch and an EXTREMELY truncated mid-day walkie, which set him up till a little after two when I received a visit from The Toy.

The Toy, as currently configured, can be used in a number of entertaining way. There’s 1) the always-popular Fetch, 2) a sort of frisbee-fling that works a lot better when I’m upright, bipedal and stationed at the kitchen corner, and 3) tug’o’war.

That final game is not really recommended, since Tobie never really got the hang of it. He doesn’t seem to understand, or understanding does not seem to agree, that the objective is to tug, not to make war.


Inevitably, when the first few solid tugs don’t win him the game, he tries for a toothhold closer to the source of the problem. Indulging him in this is a good way to get bitten by a large dog.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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3 Responses to Tobie sucks at tug’o’war.

  1. DaveS says:

    I’ve always taken the “toothy re-position” move as a sign of a smart dog. I had a dog that was a great hunting dog, but other than that, no smarter than the footprints he left in the snow. He’d grab on to a toy and tug for 5-10 minutes. You could lift him off the ground with the toy in his jaws. Dumb, but always game. The SMART dogs play to win – i.e. get the toy away from you (or me). Every trick in the book is fair play for them – Shaking, tugging, hitting your arm with a giant paw, and certainly – the strategic re-bite. At that point I usually just shift my grip to the end of the toy opposite from the teeth. Glad you’re having so much fun with him.

  2. What DaveS says. Smart dog.

    Next time reach out and gently/firmly pinch his nostrils. He’ll probably just shake you off – but he may have an interesting momentary expression.

  3. Fred says:

    I had a dog that would try every dirty trick she could to win. So I reciprocated, I’d grab the other end. Opposable thumbs are the winning combo.

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