Tugging Makes Them Mean

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#1
So, is this really something that people still think and say? Seriously?

I had a guy in my class today tell me he hadn't done any tugging with his stable, happy, high energy adolescent puppy because his vet said it would make him mean and aggressive.

I honestly didn't think that was stuff people, especially professionals, still think. I guess I shouldn't be surprised but I so am.
 
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#2
Yup. I once made the mistake of telling a few of the ladies I volunteer with at the rescue how much Fable enjoyed tugging and that I'd just gotten her a new rope. One responded "You shouldn't tug with her! It'll make her mean." The other said that if I tug too much with her then she will become mean. But a little tugging is okay.

It's becoming less common, but there still are people out there that think that.
 

naturalfeddogs

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#3
WOW! I haven't ever heard that one. Crazy! I hear the whole raw feeding will give them the taste of blood and make them mean thing all the time, but never tugging. Nuts!
 

Red.Apricot

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#4
I have been asked many times if I worry about tugging creating a monster.

Mostly when Elsie's doing this kind of thing;

It may not be clear from the photo, but she's tugging so intensely she's humping me with her whole body.
 

milos_mommy

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#5
I've heard this a lot.

I also have heard that letting the dog hold their leash in their mouth (not to chew, just to hold) makes them think they are dominant.

By professionals.

In the same vein, feeding your dog before your human family is also horrible.
 
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#6
Yup. Unfortunately, a lot of my clients hear the same thing from their vet/dog walker/neighbour/groomer.

The tide is turning but there's still old school folks preaching the same ol' stuff.
 
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#7
I play tug in between exercises at classes all the time with Toast (Squash isn't really a tugger). The instructors have never said anything but every once in awhile I get a side eye from another student.

ETA: I will say, I see things from time to time about training and behavior on veterinary forums that make me die a little inside. The DAVCBs usually try to say something but there's a surprising amount of resistance in some quarters.
 

PWCorgi

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#9
Yup! I get this a lot. Week 1 of puppy classes I cover tugging and all the reasons why people SHOULD tug. In my other classes I also encourage people to bring tug toys. A LOT of people are worried about it though. :/
 

Maxy24

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#10
Still very common. Or they think it's okay as long as the dog never "wins" because clearly you're competing with, not playing with, your dog. It's just more dominance crud.
 

lancerandrara

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#11
+1 for feeding raw makes dogs go insane, because they experienced the taste of blood. SMH. I actually hear this pretty often too!

Are we werewolves or dogs over here?
 
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#13
Just make sure your dog is tugging the toy and not your carhartt jacket when its 15f out.

That hurt a bit the first spring day, and took weeks to fix.

(perhaps both of us were a bit overzealous on the tug ;) )
 

Sweet72947

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#14
I wonder if that came from the fact that some dogs, when they try to regrip the toy, accidentally grip your hand instead. I've had that happen multiple times when I used to play with dogs at FOHA, and ouch, lol.

The only dogs I wouldn't play tug with are moderate to severe resource guarders, at least not until work has been done to fix their issue and some commands put in place, such as an 'out' or drop it, and downs and sits, etc. They tend to get a little intense about it and can redirect on you. I learned that the hard way. -_-u

But make an otherwise nice dog mean? Nope.
 

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