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Old 06-13-2006, 01:27 PM
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PWCorgi PWCorgi is offline
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Default Growling during play time?

I have been playing tug with Frodo, 5 month old male corgi, for about 2 weeks now (now that he knows the "drop it" command). He has recently been growling when we play tug, but as soon as I say "drop it" he does and the growling stops. He doesn't growl every time that we play tug, only once in a while.

He is also an EXTREMELY vocal dog. If he's happy he barks, sad he barks, frustrated he barks, unhappy he barks, excited he barks (I think you get the picture, lol). I don't know if it just a way to keep his voice box active while he has something in his mouth, or what. I don't know if it is a dominance issue, but I doubt it because he has a very submissive personality, and shows no other signs of dominance.

Should I stop playing tug w/ him? Or stop when he starts growling? He listens to the "drop it" command 98% of the time, but once or twice he has decided that he doesn't want to listen to the command, and then his tug toys are taken away for a while.

Any replies are appreciated,
Ren
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:35 PM
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GSDlover_4ever GSDlover_4ever is offline
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When you play tug you are putting your dog into prey drive. There is nothing wrong with it IMO but there needs to be clear boundaries when playing.
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:42 PM
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Bailey+Ralph Bailey+Ralph is offline
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Bailey will pick up a toy and growl while he is putting it in my hand to play tug with.
Then he will growl all the way through play, but if i drop the toy then he will put it back in my hand, so i am guessing that he just enjoys growling while tugging LOL
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:43 PM
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PWCorgi PWCorgi is offline
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Okay, thanks. What do you mean by clear boundaries? Is that like when I stop playing that means that tug time is over, not that my arm turns into a tug toy? That is the only problem that I have encountered so far, but he only did it once and I told him NO and he hasn't done it since (2 weeks), and I think it might have been over-excitement more than anything else.
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Ado's Gimme Victory RL1* "Siri"
1.5 year old Jack Russell Terrier
Gimme Drugs Not Hugs RL1 "Frodo"
8 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi


*All Siri's rally/obedience titles are to be considered handled by Megan,
because ain't nobody (read: me) got time or skills fo' dat.
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Old 06-13-2006, 02:04 PM
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GSDlover_4ever GSDlover_4ever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWCorgi
Okay, thanks. What do you mean by clear boundaries? Is that like when I stop playing that means that tug time is over, not that my arm turns into a tug toy? That is the only problem that I have encountered so far, but he only did it once and I told him NO and he hasn't done it since (2 weeks), and I think it might have been over-excitement more than anything else.
Yes, you start the game and you finish the game and when you say its over its OVER. Also (i think you already mentioned this) but he must out when you tell him to, if not the game is over. If he starts getting pocessive over toys and things I would stop playing tug alltogether.
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Old 06-13-2006, 02:07 PM
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if he's willingly engaging in play and coming back to you and loving the game of tug, and that's the only time he's growling, i wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 06-14-2006, 11:33 AM
texn texn is offline
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it's my personal experience speaking here... we have a 120 pound (yes, 120) chocolate lab in the house. when we play with him (we slap him around a little, try grabbing his snout, play tug-o-war, get him wound up, etc) he growls a little bit too. once we stop interacting with him, he will walk to us and sit down next to us. the growling isn't really a sign of agressing in the dog, it's just like when kids scream at each other when chasing one another with water guns or something, just something to go along with the playing.
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:53 AM
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I don't know if we're right here...Tinkerbell is 12 weeks, 3 3/4 pounds of terror pup...she used to growl to be naughty and wanted her way, I taught her that was unacceptable- But when it's playtime, we toss her toy, she runs and brings it back and climbs into our laps, and we have a growl/tug fest for about 30 seconds, at which point we repeat,till WE get tired of it... We play growl at her too, and roll her and toy around,puppy style-the rule is, it's ok to play growl with toys,it's our game. But I've also taught her with little breaks, I'll put the toy on my lap, and she's not allowed to grab it,she has to sit and wait till we say it's playtime,so she learns that it's ours,and it's play, so it doesn't get out of hand.
So far it works well, and we all enjoy it, in my mind, it gives her the chance to learn how to play gently,and to be careful of people flesh while playing, invaluable lessons for a dog,especially around kids. I always supervise my youngest play time with her- they're both young,and they have a hard time reading each others signals on their own...
pups are so FUN!
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:06 AM
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Growling is not a problem when playing tug because most dogs do it. The problem begins when growling turns into biting, snapping, snarling, etc. If the dog knows it is play time, and ends the playing when you want it to end, you should be fine. If it escalates into biting, you must discipline your dog with a command or simply ignore him when he wants to play. Dogs are animals and they do have preditory instincts but most dogs control it well. So to sum it up, growling while playing is not a bad thing.
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:45 AM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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I wouldn't worry about it. My Zeus, while he doesn't bark, gets extremely growly/snarly when playing and roughhousing. He even growls when he's running laps of the yard! It used to scare the bejeezus out of me; whenever we'd start wrestling a bit, he'd start growling and snarling like he was going to rip to to pieces. But after the initial shock, it was obvious that he was just playing. He has never laid a tooth on me, and will immediatly drop into a "sit" or "down" when I tell him.

As far as the tug goes, as long as Frodo will always drop the toy when you ask him to, I don't see the harm in it. Frodo respects the fact that you're in control, so it should be fine.
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