Playing tug?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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forever loved
Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 12:57pm PST 
Tiller, wow, I remember you telling that story before, that is a good reminder that you need to pay attention to the individual dog.

I will say I do not allow dogs to 'mouth' me, even in play. There have been a few times where my dogs have accidentally grabbed my hand when playing tug or some other game, but I never play with them in that manner, where putting mouths on skin in encouraged (none of my dogs have ever been trained as PPD or anything like that though). Budro, my past Shepherd mix, was good about keeping his mouth off when I first adopted him...but then a co-worker at Petsmart started playing with him rough, and encouraged him to mouth her (even after I asked her to stop). After that, he got a lot more revved up when playing, and I did have to stop with the tug until I could get him to understand teeth on skin was unacceptable.

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 1:39pm PST 
Moose wins at tug every single, dingle time. As did Mikey.

With Moose, his addiction to tug may need intervention. No matter what's in his mouth toy wise no matter how big or small, he offers it for a game of tug. And as with others, I use tug for a reward with some training.
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 1:51pm PST 
I have one poodle who "climbed" the tug and ended up getting ME, a bit too intense for me as well!!! But, he has other issues such as RG and such so it wasn't really a surprise. He actually plays tug pretty well with the other dogs, so go figure! My others all LOVE to tug and I also do not believe the dominance theory!!

Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 2:47pm PST 
@ Twister....it's always an individual case. Tiller is a tug MANIAC, and one thing I've invented with him, just as an interim reward, is to curl my finger around one of his canines and he tugs with that wink Just to make heel work more interesting and prevent him from getting bored....he won't break position but gets to tug with my finger.

I'm a big brat- and I don't care- :)
Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 3:50pm PST 
I tug with Koby all the time. It strengthens his hip muscles.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 8:08pm PST 
I love that Ellis video, Oni! As a matter of fact, I just love Michael Ellis full stop. cloud 9

Tug is one of my favourite games and rewards. I had to teach it to JT when I got him but once he learned he loved it. I had read that I should not let him win and 'trophy' the toy from a dominance training book but I didn't really buy it, even then.

JT comes at my husband like he's a bitework decoy, lol. He LOVES it and will even swing around. He releases when we tell him off and goes into an automatic sit which let's us play so hard. He is also very careful about his teeth and lets go if they touch skin, so his bite inhibition is good too.

Right now I'm using tug to lure play dead and then roll over. Food has been a failure there. Pretty much all working dogs (with an exception of sheep dogs, maybe) have been trained with tug at some point and let win to build their confidence so nope, I don't think it's gonna make your dog dominant. As a matter of fact, the off teaches self control and respect for the handler.
Maggie NAC- WV-N TN-N- CTL-3 RE

Tunnel Suckin'
Barked: Tue Jan 8, '13 11:58am PST 
Ditto Rigby!

I play tug with Porter as that is his game of choice. He usually "wins" but he does have a good "drop." He is not careful with his teeth, so we really pay attention to toy placement.
Miyu CGC

Bow down to the- Princess Brat!
Barked: Tue Jan 8, '13 4:24pm PST 
Thanks so much for the feedback guys! My gut told me it was a bit of crock, but Tiller, I'll watch for her 'overdrive'. She does get very amped up just working in general, and when she does she is NOT careful. She's not the kind to come up the tug at you, but is the kind to get excited and not realize your finger is there when you're holding out, say, a treat during agility. big laugh

Now as an extension... how do you teach the 'off/auf/drop' command? I thought about it precisely because one of the dogs at my class uses a little tug toy as her reward, and I've been wondering for awhile about graduating her off treats. And the one or two times I did try playing tug with her she LOVED it. Which is good, because she doesn't care for balls or frisbees much. party

As as for the letting her win thing... um. I'm never going to win at tug with her. laugh out loud She is a BEAST. So thanks for confessing to that, Moose, I felt like a wimp thinking that.

Member Since
Barked: Tue Jan 8, '13 5:07pm PST 
I don't think playing tug of war will teach your dog to be dominant over you. A lot of trainers do that as sort of an exercise. However, do keep in mind that when you play tug, you play it on your terms. You should start and end the game your way.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Tue Jan 8, '13 5:54pm PST 
For the out, I stopped pulling, placed my hand at the side of the dog's mouth, removed the toy, and gave the command 'auf! Setz!' For really full on dogs, some people lure the dog off with a treat/greater reward (you'll have to find something she wants more than the tug, though!) Be careful of your fingers if she gets very amped up and forgets her bite inhibition. laugh out loud
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