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  #31  
Old 10-11-2009, 03:36 PM
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If you could hand that out with every puppy than yeah it would be fine.

If this were an ideal world, I can think of a vast array of things I'd like to hand out with every puppy. How to play tug would be the tip of the ice berg for me. There are sooooo many things people do wrong with dogs and a vast majority of those things are based on the huge misconception people have about dogs and dominance. So many, many dog owners and a lot of trainers alike have the show 'em who's boss mentality. It's dominate or be dominated with them. It's war against the dogs. This, by no means, applies only to a game of tug. I'd like to hand out information about socialization. (a huge problem with inexperienced dog owners, which results in unbalanced and often, dangerous dogs) I'd hand out info on how to prevent resource guarding, how to teach a dog deferential behavior (teaching a dog to say, "please.") I'd hand out info on how to stop unwanted behavior without creating more problems than the original problem. (which is so common, it's just incredible) There are a vast amount of mistakes people make with dogs which create most all behavior problems, annoying and dangerous alike, that education would help. Problems arising from a game of tug is, to me, just not a real big issue. I suspect it accounts for a relatively small percentage of potential problems with dogs. And the reason for this is that most dogs just naturally view this as a game, not opposition. Chances are good that the people you mention are not only playing the game with no common sense or rules in place, but they're also probably doing all kinds of other things wrong, which undermines the whole relationship of cooperation with their dogs. People in my area, like I said, are certainly not up to snuff on dog behavior. They do things wrong too, but I still fail to see aggression issues which I could conclude are caused by playing a game of tug.

I know so many people who play tug with their dogs and don't necessarily have any rules at all. And those dogs still recognize it as a game. They may get too grabby by mistake or leap up in an unruly way, but I don't see aggression result as a general rule. As the guy in the video explained, if a dog already has aggression issues where possession is an issue, this wouldn't be a great game because it has something to do with aquisition of a valued thing. The dog needs to learn an "out" first and learn more in the way of deferential behavior, learn that it is a game and be reinforced for wanted behavior, not reinforced for unwanted. You don't keep playing with a dog that doesn't mind the rules, just like you don't reward a dog for not complying with some other command or behavior you don't like.

Saying that because a lot of people don't play correctly, tug is a bad game is like saying people who handle guns badly makes all guns a bad thing. Or people who can't parallel park makes all cars bad and they shouldn't be driven.
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  #32  
Old 10-11-2009, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Doberluv View Post
If this were an ideal world, I can think of a vast array of things I'd like to hand out with every puppy. How to play tug would be the tip of the ice berg for me. There are sooooo many things people do wrong with dogs and a vast majority of those things are based on the huge misconception people have about dogs and dominance. So many, many dog owners and a lot of trainers alike have the show 'em who's boss mentality. It's dominate or be dominated with them. It's war against the dogs. This, by no means, applies only to a game of tug. I'd like to hand out information about socialization. (a huge problem with inexperienced dog owners, which results in unbalanced and often, dangerous dogs) I'd hand out info on how to prevent resource guarding, how to teach a dog deferential behavior (teaching a dog to say, "please.") I'd hand out info on how to stop unwanted behavior without creating more problems than the original problem. (which is so common, it's just incredible) There are a vast amount of mistakes people make with dogs which create most all behavior problems, annoying and dangerous alike, that education would help. Problems arising from a game of tug is, to me, just not a real big issue. I suspect it accounts for a relatively small percentage of potential problems with dogs. And the reason for this is that most dogs just naturally view this as a game, not opposition. Chances are good that the people you mention are not only playing the game with no common sense or rules in place, but they're also probably doing all kinds of other things wrong, which undermines the whole relationship of cooperation with their dogs. People in my area, like I said, are certainly not up to snuff on dog behavior. They do things wrong too, but I still fail to see aggression issues which I could conclude are caused by playing a game of tug.

I have had many people over the years come to me with problem behaviors. Some are from a lack of training, some are from bad training. I have yet to see someone come to me with a behavior problem that I could attribute to playing tug.

As for playing tug with a resource guarder? I do it all the time. I have 3 1/2 resource guarders. Tug has actually helped them guard less as they realize that just because my hand is on their toy doesn't mean they're going to lose it.

Playing tug with Nyx is very beneficial. She gets so worried about sharing her toys. She'd prefer to take the tug toy and leave. On a good day she'll sit next to me, with her back to me, and quietly have her toy. As soon as my hand gets anywhere near her, she gets very chewy with it, she looks around for an escape route. She is very clearly anxious about it. Over time, I've been able to teach her that when I reach for her toy, it's to play tug, not to take it from her. Now she's a bit more willing to share. She's also in the process of learning that if she gets frantic about the toy, she's going to lose it -- it's not that the game ends, it's that she physically isn't able to hold it when she's worrying ~ all the chewing and regripping makes it easy for it to be taken away. When she's calm about playing tug, she wins. This seems to be transferring nicely into other areas where she tends to be hectic and nervous. She's beginning to be calmer in other aspects of her world.
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  #33  
Old 10-11-2009, 04:14 PM
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Over time, I've been able to teach her that when I reach for her toy, it's to play tug, not to take it from her. Now she's a bit more willing to share.
Great points CP. With the resource guarding, you've initiated a trade game to prove that nothing bad happens when you take her toy. So, yeah....even with resource guarding, it can help with the cure in that it's reinforcing for the dog to give up the toy, so he can have the toy. (that good 'ole Chinese doggie zen at work again.)
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  #34  
Old 10-11-2009, 04:51 PM
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As an instructor it is my job to teach people how to properly train the game of tug and this includes all the rules etc. IMO, the sooner people and their puppies/dogs the better.

As a breeder of a breed that is known for having problems and can be aggressive if not bred correctly or raised correctly, teaching tug correctly is critical. My pups are now 7 1/2 wks old, they all know how to tug, they know to trade and they are also learning to be very careful of my fingers and flesh. I believe that if taught correctly it helps a great deal with bite inhibition. That is my job to start them correctly, it is also my job to teach anyone getting a puppy that isn't experienced in training dogs or doesn't know how to continue with correct tug training with their new pup.

And I absolutely agree that ANYONE who doens't know the rules of tugging and anyone who is foolish enough to train a dog to tug without a rock solid 'invite to tug' and a 'release', shouldn't play the game.

I also agree with the post/s that stated about baby teeth being pulled out or shifting. But that is easy, you don't pull against the pup you let them pull. And IMO, no dog should ever be swung hard from side to side regardless of age because of neck damage.
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  #35  
Old 10-11-2009, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by smkie View Post
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.
That is an excellent point. To us, it appears obvious, we've all seen people with pups who have the best intentions in the world, are doing everything wrong but won't buy a book or read one. They might read a post like this and actually start thinking about what they're doing. My 2 cents.
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  #36  
Old 10-11-2009, 05:52 PM
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Here are a couple of short, but good videos. The first shows two dogs playing. You'll see the bigger one self handi-capping. Cute. You'll have to scroll way down closer to the bottom.

The second one, the man is showing how he uses tug as a reward as he practices some obedience tricks. The first dog wasn't so good at giving the toy, but in just a few reps, he got onto it. You'll see how.

Human Bond With Dogs, Behavior of Dogs and People, Dog Psychology | Patricia McConnell Blog


Playing Tug With Your Dog / How To Play Tug / Tug-o-war With Your Dog
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  #37  
Old 10-11-2009, 06:06 PM
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Lots of dog games CAN be detrimental to a dog, sure. Like any game, tug has to be played in a certain way. That certain way, IMO, depends on the dog.

In Finn's case, tug is always a game. He is never tugging on something because he does not want me to have it, he always tugs because it's a game. I let him win sometimes, and when I do, he gives it a shake and brings it right back. "Let's play again!" In Finn's case, it's okay to let him win sometimes. He also has a good grasp of "give" and the game ends when I want it to.
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  #38  
Old 10-11-2009, 06:13 PM
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I think my dogs are very great tug buddies. they both have lots of drive to tug, but I have never had a problem with them at all. I remember when I first starting playing tug with Ruckus.... he would not tug. He was highly concerned that it was not a game he should play. like tugging an object that I was holding was against the rules. It was just last year when we brought Lynn into our house that he realized tug was a fun game. Lynn caught on to tug right away!

they both like the flirt pole more. We tug with the flirt pole too.
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  #39  
Old 10-11-2009, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by adojrts View Post
I also agree with the post/s that stated about baby teeth being pulled out or shifting. But that is easy, you don't pull against the pup you let them pull. And IMO, no dog should ever be swung hard from side to side regardless of age because of neck damage.
I'm assuming this was posted because of what I said?
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Originally Posted by mom2dogs
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
The majority of tug games are with me sitting on the floor, and yep, I do drag her from one side to the other (there is no "hard" shaking back and forth quickly) if that could cause her to develop neck issues, I think I'm screwed as she is much harder on her body in other ways without me than that would ever be.

and if it wasn't posted without influence of my post, oh well, there's a more detailed description so people don't think I'm shaking my dog's head off
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  #40  
Old 10-11-2009, 06:19 PM
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I dont "Shake" the dogs hard, but I do drag them. I even take off slowly jogging on the hard wood floor pulling Lynn along. LOL
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