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  #21  
Old 10-11-2009, 02:03 PM
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nah that's a myth. It is only a bad idea if you allow the dog to grab at your hands as well or if your dog has resource guarding and the game is only a game to you. I play tug with Phoebe, it has not made her aggressive, we played with Max and there was not aggression. Neither of them drop/dropped on command and both were allowed to initiate the game, only rule is that all normal rules still must be followed. That means you can't jump or mouth/bite my hands. It's a game.
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  #22  
Old 10-11-2009, 02:10 PM
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If that's the case my dog should be a rabid monster because I play tug of war with him all the time and it's rough lol.

I don't really know how to explain it but we've done it enough that he just knows what I want him to do with hardly any cues. Sometimes I'll hold it above my head and to the side and I want him to leap and catch it, and I move out of the way so he'll jump until he manages to out-manouver me. At which point the tug of war starts and he's pretty serious- still having fun but intense at the same time. Usually he wins because my arms gets sore lol but if I want it I just tell him to drop it. He doesn't care because that usually means the game is going to restart or I'll throw it for him, which he also loves. He's gentle with my hands by default, I don't really care if he accidently bites me but he does, lol.

It's amazing to me that he can be in the ecstasy of the moment, be 6 ft in the air and trying to grab something for all he's worth, yet if he gets my hand he manages to not even break the skin. I have no idea how.

I get him to jump up but if that's not what I want/when the jumping game ends, he somehow knows. And that's that and he stays on the ground. When I'm holding something, he can tell whether I'm going to throw it or I'm offering it to him as a target. He's pretty good at reading body language.

At any rate he's been playing tug of war since he got off the plane (he's pretty tired here lol)


And he has never done anything out of line in regards to being possessive of his toys, jumping up when I didn't want him to or biting me or anyone else. So I wouldn't put much store in the "it makes them aggressive" thing.
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  #23  
Old 10-11-2009, 02:10 PM
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The problem is not everyone is an experienced dog person like the standard Chazzer. You tell people that it is ok to play tug with a puppy and a lot of them will be like my ex...clueless as to what they are doing. He actually thought it was funny.

Victor was pretty lethal at 5 months too. I am almost certain he had been teased and I believe he had his teeth hurt too. He was desperate to get to the whatever toy first and would bite through your hand to achieve it..but if you had ahold of one end he would drop it instantly and try to figure a way to snatch it from you the whole time barking insanely. Would pretty much bet money someone played with him that way ^^^^^. It took months of changing his behaviors. HE went from interested in play to instantly pissed in a milisecond. That is why we started with bubbles. If done wrong it can screw them up terribly and i find it safer if people just don't play tug at all unless they have someone explain that when you do play tug..it isn't really I win or you win but i pull a little you pull a little. I don't know how to say what i mean.
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Last edited by smkie; 10-11-2009 at 02:21 PM.
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  #24  
Old 10-11-2009, 02:21 PM
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It's the same though, with anything. People don't know a lot of things and ruin their dogs...not just with tug, but with all kinds of stuff. In my book, I describe tug and I make it very clear that rules must be installed, as with any game or any behavior. People cause dogs to resource guard by taking things away from them all the time. People cause dogs to be defensive and bite by mistreating them. People cause dogs to attack kids on bikes because they punish them severely for barking at a kid on a bike and the dog then associates kids on bikes with danger. People cause dogs to bite visitors because an insecure dog might growl, but then be punished for growling in the presence of visitors. I have a few clients with that scenario.

So, it is no different. People may not handle their dogs right in playing a game with them so their dog develops a behavior problem. But so it is the same in all kinds of contexts. Tug is a game to most dogs, not a challenge.... and it is rare that a dog becomes aggressive on account of that game. IMO.
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  #25  
Old 10-11-2009, 02:25 PM
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I instructed people to play many different games with their puppies, that was part of my job at the kennels from easy retrieves..keep it simple, keep it short, to hide and seek. THere is no way I would say to someone like that with an 8 week old lab...go home and it's ok to play tug because it can be interpreted the other way..it's the humane aspect here that is bad not the dog's. THere are just too many better ways to entertain your dog and keep thinking that doesn't increase the risk of anger.
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  #26  
Old 10-11-2009, 02:44 PM
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There is no risk if it's done intelligently, otherwise, a lot of people would have big problems with their dogs. Most of the people I've interacted with, like around my own neighborhood aren't mental giants where dog behavior is concerned. They play tug with their dogs or other rough housing and I don't see problems with aggression from that. Other games are good too.

Another thing I do when I play is break things up frequently during a round. We tug for about 10 seconds, the dog wins... We'll stop, I'll ask for a sit or a down and ask for the toy back. Then we'll play again. I wouldn't tug for so long at one time that the dog gets frusterated. That's just common sense. It should be a structured game, not an out of control thing where the dog is calling all the shots. Deferential training is always important when having dogs...(You do this first and I'll give you this)

Most respected behaviorists today, that I've read say the same thing. Tug has a lot of beneficial aspects to it for dogs....Dogs need a prey burner....an outlet for that drive. This prevents an inappropriate re-direction of prey drive. It's a terrific energy burner and cooperative game. It builds confidence. Lots of behaviorists and trainers recommend this game for insecure, shy dogs.

So, I agree that it is a myth and a misconception that this produces opposition in a dog. Other things produce that. Tug is simply an incidental thing that gets blamed for inadequate, owner handling.
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Last edited by Doberluv; 10-11-2009 at 02:55 PM.
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  #27  
Old 10-11-2009, 03:07 PM
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video of correct way to play tug with a dog - Google Videos
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  #28  
Old 10-11-2009, 03:20 PM
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If you could hand that out with every puppy than yeah it would be fine.
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  #29  
Old 10-11-2009, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smkie View Post
THere are just too many better ways to entertain your dog and keep thinking that doesn't increase the risk of anger.
i guess i see tug as a cooperative game. i'm tugging WITH a dog, not AGAINST a dog. in which case, why on earth would tug increase the risk of anger? tug has been a huge help in teaching all three of my dogs self-control (as well as give and leave it). it's rewarding. it's FUN. they enjoy it. i enjoy it. tug is a hugely popular game among handlers in a number of dog sports.

you can torture and drive a dog nuts with almost any toy or game. tug is no different. i honestly cannot fathom how the game i play with my dogs increases risk of anger.
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  #30  
Old 10-11-2009, 04:08 PM
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IF everyone would think of it that way then yeah...but they don't. Maybe i am just in an area where there are so many people that still think domination is the name of the game and they start it early. IT breaks my heart. WE play tug here..a gentle i am going to but not really going to take your toy..i give it a bitty shake..but i put more emphasis on retrieving than on tug. IT is almost the reward for bringing it back. I never want to see some of the things i see around here with the tough dog attitude attached. I guess my point is tug is so easily abused it isn't funny and that to me is scary.

Bronki and Mary played the most gentle tug with each other ever...LIke i would play tug with my 85 year old mother. It was just sweet.
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