tuff-tuggerI absolutely love my German Shepherd-Belgian Malinois rescue dog, Phoebe, but little did I know what I was getting into when I adopted her! She’s as smart as a pooch can get, with loads of energy, and I’m always trying to find new fun ways to stimulate her physically and mentally. She’s definitely happiest when all of her senses get a good workout and while bonding with her momma! Sometimes a good walk or jog does the trick, other times we play hide and seek or set up a mock-agility course in our home with Hula Hoops and such. It’s so fun to watch her in action, which helps me learn more about her, reading her body signals better and improving our overall communication.

Phoebe has all kinds of toys and has learned all sorts of tricks, but lately I’ve been using a Purina Pet Gear Tuff Tugger which she loves. The Tuff Tugger is a tug and pull toy which includes a water bottle you can slip inside of it to add for chewing play. It achieves lots of fun dog tasks in one toy – just ask Phoebe!

I started with basic tug play, always practicing Phoebe’s “drop it” command as well to ensure no toy possessiveness. We tugged and tugged, releasing lots of Phoebe’s energy and tapping into her canine instincts to tug with her mouth. We then played catch and fetch, and finally, I slipped a recycled water bottle in the sleeve and left her chewing on it as I went to run some errands. It kept her busy and entertained; throughout the course of the day Tuff Tugger kept her chasing, chewing, and thinking.

My Shepherd loves chewing on water bottles so I like that this toy allows her to safely enjoy getting her teeth on one. All in all, Phoebe is best when she’s introduced to new, fun, interactive games that let her use her smarts and serve as outlets for her energy. If you don’t spend time playing and interacting with your dog (or cat), you should! It keeps him or her mentally and physically sharp, and builds a closer bond between you two.

– Written by Katya Friedman, Director of Partnerships and Promotions and certified dog trainer