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  #11  
Old 10-11-2009, 11:08 AM
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Dekka Dekka is offline
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My dogs all play tug (with the exception of Kaiden, who doesn't play), either with each other (sometimes using each other lol) and I have noticed that the dogs who play with other dogs are the more 'social' of the dogs. Dekka does not play tug with other dogs, but Bounce will play with anyone. Dekka is the one with the reactivity issues, not Bounce.

Any way its total bunk as Carrie pointed out, its a cooperative game between 'friends' not a competition.
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  #12  
Old 10-11-2009, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by sammgirl View Post
I think that maybe tug of war would be bad for puppies because it could damage their bite, correct?
Depends on the bite, I do believe that you can shift teeth out of alignment (talking scissor bite here), if it is played frequently while young. I certainly wouldn't be dragging a puppy across the floor and from side to side while they are still young, like I do my 3 yo, but light games here and there I don't see a problem with. They probably just as hard if not harder with their littermates. I won't risk a bite shifting after hearing breeders explain that's why their puppies were "ruined" (whether there's truth to it or not), either, so that IS on the back of my mind.
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2009, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by sammgirl View Post
I think that maybe tug of war would be bad for puppies because it could damage their bite, correct?
It can. You can play tug with a puppy, but you do have to be a little more careful. If a tooth gets pulled out prematurely by playing tug with them, the adult tooth can grow in incorrectly -- I've seen it happen. More common is that having a baby tooth snagged and pulled can hurt and can make them worried about playing.

When I play tug with puppies, I'm very selective about materials I'll use so they're less likely to snag a tooth. I don't really pull, I hold and let the pup pull a little -- and I let them win. When I'm done playing, I trade them for treats to get the toy back.
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  #14  
Old 10-11-2009, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
It can. You can play tug with a puppy, but you do have to be a little more careful. If a tooth gets pulled out prematurely by playing tug with them, the adult tooth can grow in incorrectly -- I've seen it happen. More common is that having a baby tooth snagged and pulled can hurt and can make them worried about playing.

When I play tug with puppies, I'm very selective about materials I'll use so they're less likely to snag a tooth. I don't really pull, I hold and let the pup pull a little -- and I let them win. When I'm done playing, I trade them for treats to get the toy back.
stevie was playing tug with his breeder before he ever came home i just was very very gentle and careful. he loves to tug (though only with people, not with other dogs) and that's what i wanted for agility and flyball.

i overheard someone the other day telling a person with an insecure bc mix that they should never ever play tug with that dog (5 months and growly/uncomfortable about strangers touching him- clearly DOMINANT!!!). i had to roll my eyes. bleh.
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  #15  
Old 10-11-2009, 11:48 AM
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At 4 and 5 weeks i think it is a seriously bad idea. My ex did this with Spacey Casey getting him to play much too rough even tho I begged him not to. I will always believe it led to the behaviors that later ruined his life. My old boss was against it ..what they do with other puppies is different from how they should play with humans. I will stick with what i wrote. For young puppies gentleness should be the key in the introduction to playing with humans. Holding it and letting a young pup pull a bit and turning loose is one thing. Getting them to hold on and working them into an angry state is seriously bad news.
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  #16  
Old 10-11-2009, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elegy View Post
stevie was playing tug with his breeder before he ever came home i just was very very gentle and careful. he loves to tug (though only with people, not with other dogs) and that's what i wanted for agility and flyball.

i overheard someone the other day telling a person with an insecure bc mix that they should never ever play tug with that dog (5 months and growly/uncomfortable about strangers touching him- clearly DOMINANT!!!). i had to roll my eyes. bleh.

That's just the kind of dog that would especially benefit from some confidence building games, such as tug. Oh yeah...."uncomfortable with strangers touching him equals "dominant." Bleh, is right!
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  #17  
Old 10-11-2009, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by smkie View Post
At 4 and 5 weeks i think it is a seriously bad idea. My ex did this with Spacey Casey getting him to play much too rough even tho I begged him not to. I will always believe it led to the behaviors that later ruined his life. My old boss was against it ..what they do with other puppies is different from how they should play with humans. I will stick with what i wrote. For young puppies gentleness should be the key in the introduction to playing with humans. Holding it and letting a young pup pull a bit and turning loose is one thing. Getting them to hold on and working them into an angry state is seriously bad news.
Like I said...."rules."

The bad behaviors were a result of faulty training...and not likely the simple and single reason of playing tug. When undesireable behavior is present, you can't jump to the conclusion that it is one single cause at fault. There can be a lot of other factors or a combination of things. If a dog has a temperament or an issue with possessions or going from play to prey, that is the human veering away from the rules or letting the game continue when the rules are broken.... and the game needs to stop. But the game in and of itself, I don't believe, is the culprit. When and if one of my dogs would get too wild, I'd stop playing immediately, put the toy away... and that removal of reinforcement...consitently, would extinguish that behavior.

I have had many dogs in my life and have played tug with all of them....all that were into it. (my little girl Chi isn't particularly interested...not much anyhow) And not one developed one iota of a problem behavior. Not a single one. I've had GSDs, Labs, mixes, Doberman, Chi's and they all played by the rules and knew it was a game. I never had any resource guarding issues among my dogs either. Like I said, if there is that issue, it must be resolved first and it must be made known to the dog that this is a game and not a fight. But that's all in how it is handled. Rules. Rules. Rules.
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  #18  
Old 10-11-2009, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elegy View Post
i overheard someone the other day telling a person with an insecure bc mix that they should never ever play tug with that dog (5 months and growly/uncomfortable about strangers touching him- clearly DOMINANT!!!). i had to roll my eyes. bleh.
Playing tug can often make them more confident and secure. I've used tug games to get Nyx more comfortable with being touched -- she's very goosey and worried about having her hind end touched, but when she's focused on a tug toy, she'll allow it. It's the only thing that's sufficiently motivating for me to be able to touch her hind end. If she leaves her toy and spins around towards me, she loses her toy. She's now at a point where I can touch her back legs and then give her the tug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smkie View Post
For young puppies gentleness should be the key in the introduction to playing with humans. Holding it and letting a young pup pull a bit and turning loose is one thing. Getting them to hold on and working them into an angry state is seriously bad news.
Tug games can teach gentleness...if the teeth touch human skin, the game ends...if the dog lunges/jumps to grab the tug, the game ends...if the dog doesn't release the tug when asked to, the game ends.

Working any dog ~ young or old ~ into an "angry state" is never a good thing to do. That "angry state" is usually high levels of frustration. If a dog reaches that level of frustration, something is being done incorrectly. And that can happen whether playing tug or trying to get the dog to sit before putting down his food bowl or any number of other things.
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  #19  
Old 10-11-2009, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
Playing tug can often make them more confident and secure. I've used tug games to get Nyx more comfortable with being touched -- she's very goosey and worried about having her hind end touched, but when she's focused on a tug toy, she'll allow it. It's the only thing that's sufficiently motivating for me to be able to touch her hind end. If she leaves her toy and spins around towards me, she loses her toy. She's now at a point where I can touch her back legs and then give her the tug.



Tug games can teach gentleness...if the teeth touch human skin, the game ends...if the dog lunges/jumps to grab the tug, the game ends...if the dog doesn't release the tug when asked to, the game ends.

Working any dog ~ young or old ~ into an "angry state" is never a good thing to do. That "angry state" is usually high levels of frustration. If a dog reaches that level of frustration, something is being done incorrectly. And that can happen whether playing tug or trying to get the dog to sit before putting down his food bowl or any number of other things.
Exactly.

Tug is one of the games I use with insecure dogs I work with, including Toker, my son's dog who was severely abused as a puppy. She had all kinds of severe issues and was fearful and nervous. Looking at her now, you wouldn't know it. She intrinsically seems to have a rather bold, "dominant" personality. She has a tendancy to be rather pushy with some things. Tug of war really brought her out of her shell and she loves playing that game with me and with other dogs. It never escalates to anything but fun, play growly voices from her and me, LOL....and lots of play bows, waggy tail and then we go into keep away where she runs and I pretend I'm a monster, "I'm gonna get you." Then it's "give" and she must give me the toy and I might throw it or give it to her again for another round of tug.
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  #20  
Old 10-11-2009, 12:14 PM
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I play tug with Mia all the time! My most well balanced dogs are also the ones that tug- Nard, Beau, and Mia are all big on tug with people and other dogs. Rose and Summer are not and they're the ones that are not as comfortable around other dogs.
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