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Battie4
5th March 2007, 11:21 AM
Hi I read somewhere that you should not play tug of war with your dog cause it teaches he/she to fight against you?! Im not sure if this is true or not so if someone can clarify that for me id appreciate thanks!

Barbara Nixon
5th March 2007, 12:48 PM
Some trainers believe that playing and letting the dog win, puts the dog in charge. My ex-trainer plays tug with his competition dogs, as a treat after competing, but he always makes sure that he's the one to walk away with the toy.

One note of caution: Joly had his two bottom front teeth missing, well after adult teeth should be there. The vet said that they could be slow growing, but, more likely, the teeth (front ones have poor roots) had been dislodged while playing tug with Teddy. One tooth did appear, very very late, but the other never did, so it looks as though tugging was to blame.

molly
5th March 2007, 04:36 PM
Interesting how different trainers have such different thoughts on this topic. We took our Murphy to an animal behaviorist (who is known for her work with dog agression in the US) as he had resource guarding issues when we got him at 1 yr. old.

She told us to always let him win in a game of tug or we would be training/reenforcing him to guard his treasures. We trained Take It and Give It as separate behaviors. When he did have something valued, he learned to give it up readily.

LauraD
5th March 2007, 04:43 PM
Hi,
Someone sent me this when my dog was just a little pup. It does have some information about "tug of war" and other games. Maybe you will find it helpful. :)
http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/games.html
BTW i play "tug of war" with Riley, but only on MY terms and it works out well.

moniechris
5th March 2007, 04:50 PM
I didn't learn this from a trainer or anything, but from my own experience.

Cody was very possessive over his toys and would growl at any of the dogs that look at him while he chewed away. I was becoming really frustrated that every time I would take the toy away and put it up, the dogs would be really sneaky and attempt to steal it, then guard it. My thought process was that they did not understand how to play together with the toy, or each other so I began to wrestle and play tug of war with all three of the boys at the same time.

We got this great heavy duty lobster stuff toy that has huge claws, legs and a tail so everyone could hold on at the same time. Now in the evenings we all romp, run and play tug of war with the toy together, and I always decide when it is time to stop and put the toy up. Usually it is when the boys are collapsed on the floor from exhaustion, so it's not like mom is taking away the fun. Cody's gaurding issues have significantly decreased now and he plays much better with the my other boys. I think the pack dynamic changed when mom was instigating play time and had controll over the game.

~On another note, My vet said that it was important to play tug of war to help loosen puppy teeth. Tugging and chewing is a natural behavior for the dog and that is why a lot of pet store pups need teeth to be pulled because they don't do this for the first few months of their lives...

Joanne M
5th March 2007, 05:03 PM
I play tug of war with Tucker. I let him win after about one minute (possibly less) other times he is able on his own to tug the item from my grasp. He's quite cunning in that he constantly changes his mouth grip leaving me less material and loosening my grasp. He has never come close to biting me. I'm also very watchful of how much material there is between my hand and Tucker's mouth. It has not made him more aggressive towards me, and I am still able to get him to "drop it" with any of his toys that I want and he is playing with. Sometimes, that will happen after he runs off down the hall with the item, but he always brings it back to me.

I have wondered now that he's an adult is there any risk of injuring his permanent teeth. I do not tug with all my might, but still I wonder is there such a thing as too much tugging?

moniechris
5th March 2007, 05:30 PM
Here is the link for that toy we got. No joke it is HUGE (over a foot long) and is tough as nails. It isn't good for letting them sit and chew it, but for tug-of war it is ideal. Even little Zoey tries to get in the act by grabbing the little legs, but the boys are just to rough for her as yet.

http://www.edogtoy.com/retail/index.php?cPath=27_51&products_id=347

arasara
5th March 2007, 05:38 PM
It's funny to me that this is such a contraversial topic!

I have played tug of war with both of my dogs since I got them. When they are puppies I think it's a GREAT game to teach them not to touch you with their teeth. I have had Faith "bite" me two times with this game and when I said "AHH AHH" no biting! and stopped playing she completely stopped biting.. !

I think it's an OK game as long you keep it under control.... Also it's important not to "shake" it back and forth beause puppies have very sensitive necks - if they shake it then that's their doing but us humans are strong! Also don't pull too hard because you can take out their teeth. I basically hold it and let Faith do whatever she wants with the toy - it's a lot of fun! :flwr:

Kingofthehouse86
5th March 2007, 06:47 PM
King loves tug of war...espically with his glove. But when we're done playing all I need to do is say "King drop it" he lets go sits down and waits for me to put the toy away...then we play something else, and he's never thought he was incharge

murphy's mum
5th March 2007, 06:59 PM
We play Tug of War with Murphy, sometimes he wins, sometimes we win, he also obeys the 'Leave' command during the game :thmbsup:

He growls and barks at me like crazy, but his tails is going like mad the whole time, he has never lunged for his toy or tried to bite us. I would not class this as aggressive, as we can end the game easily and the barking/growling stops immediately. He thinks he sounds dead tough, so who am I to tell him any different :D

arasara
5th March 2007, 07:15 PM
I was not trying to insinuate Faith was being aggressive by "biting" me at all. What happens is she tries to grab the toy and accidently grabs me instead! :yikes SHe's not really biting "ME" just the toy and she misses - clumsy puppy I guess. It's good to have that sort of experience and say "no biting" though becaues I'm trying to teach her that touching me with her teeth is not acceptable whether it's play or not. Here in Toronto you can be fined and your dog can be put on the muzzle list if it so much as touches somebody with it's teeth whether it breaks the skin or not. Faith also barks and wags and growls like mad - it's so funny. She gets so loud and playful - then a few minutes later she completely passes out! :flwr: Best game ever!

aleethomas
5th March 2007, 07:52 PM
At training on Sunday we were told that tug-o-war is great to play with them and it doesn't matter who wins. The only thing is to make sure that you are able to get something out of their mouth.

He said that the dog sees it as you and him against the thing that you are pulling on, not the dog against you.

murphy's mum
5th March 2007, 07:58 PM
I was not trying to insinuate Faith was being aggressive by "biting" me at all. What happens is she tries to grab the toy and accidently grabs me instead! :yikes SHe's not really biting "ME" just the toy and she misses - clumsy puppy I guess.

Sorry if you missunderstood, I wasn't saying anything about Faith, I was worried someone would think Murphy barking and growling at me was aggresive :D

Kelz
5th March 2007, 10:35 PM
I love this game with Harvey, although really the tug lasts 2 seconds before I get the toy, make him sit and wait then I throw it again for him to chase!

Maxxs_Mummy
5th March 2007, 10:55 PM
I've always played Tug with all of my dogs. My blys love it and sometimes I win, sometimes they win. Never had any problems over aggression with it.

I used to play tug with my police-trained GSD when she was alive too. The only way I could win then though was to say 'Drop it' - you ever tried tugging with 112lbs of sheer muscle? :lol: :lol: :lol: She'd always let me take it off her and would then sit with her paw in the air giving me the sad eyes to get it back again :roll:

ParkersSis
5th March 2007, 11:54 PM
I played tug of war with our other dog (Krystal) all the time when she was little....no problems with her behavior in 14 years. She knows the humans are in charge. About the only thing she's possessive about is her food!

KimNIndy
7th March 2007, 11:02 PM
i have read a little bit on both sides of the arguments around tug of war and decided to keep doing it. it's one of indy's favourite things to do and he brings us his toys so we'll play with him.

for those of you who have met indy, you know that he's a very <ahem> boisterous little fella and i noticed that he gets over excited during tug of war. during a training class, it was pointed out to me that his lower jaw starts to tremble when he's 'gone outside himself.' he does this when he meets new dogs outside, etc.... and i'm working really hard to help him learn to 'come back in to himself' i.e. focus.

tug of war has been good for this for me----if i notice him getting too excited, i stop immediately and give the sit and wait command and then the toy is a reward.

just an idea----

he goes into all kinds of crazy growling during tug of war, but it also stops the instant the game stops, and we just giggle at his 'ferociousness' and enjoy it.

k

Cathy T
8th March 2007, 12:52 AM
I play tug of war with mine all of the time....just as long as they let go when I say "can I have it?". And they always give it up to me. And then I throw it and we start all over again! :D

Crittercall
8th March 2007, 06:09 AM
This is interesting. I was always told that playing tug of war with them was bad for them because of the physical reasons - injury to neck, teeth. I've seen some dogs that would hold onto something and let you pull them up into the air with it without letting go - which isn't a good idea. I don't think anyone ever put it in the context of who is in charge that I had heard until now.

But my dogs don't play, so what do I know? :D

The only "command" that Tibby and Sasha know is "Stop" - and Sasha learned it from Tibby. Evidently the person who had her before us had taught her that and I just happened to say it in a stern voice as she was running away from me (in the house) one day. We say "Stop" and they hit their bellies!

Caraline
8th March 2007, 08:23 AM
I have always played tug-o-war with all of my dogs and I've never had one get nasty about toys, nor be injured from the game.

Once I decide that the game is over, I say "Okay, that's it, game over. Settle down now". We sit there & have a quiet pat & cuddle and then once the dog is calm I gently give the toy back to them.

My word for the dog to let me have the toy is "thank you" and they will always drop the toy for me.

Maxxs_Mummy
8th March 2007, 12:04 PM
This is interesting. I was always told that playing tug of war with them was bad for them because of the physical reasons - injury to neck, teeth. I've seen some dogs that would hold onto something and let you pull them up into the air with it without letting go - which isn't a good idea. I don't think anyone ever put it in the context of who is in charge that I had heard until now.

But my dogs don't play, so what do I know? :D

The only "command" that Tibby and Sasha know is "Stop" - and Sasha learned it from Tibby. Evidently the person who had her before us had taught her that and I just happened to say it in a stern voice as she was running away from me (in the house) one day. We say "Stop" and they hit their bellies!


Hey Donna,

Whether your dogs play or not, you know plenty :flwr: When i was a teen we had a Welsh terrier who would never give anything up and sometimes she'd grab hold of a tea towel and as you picked it up the dog would come too - she'd also jump up to the apple trees in the garden and swing from the branches :yikes Tbh though, I never trusted her as she could be very snappy and I wondered if this was why she would grab and not let go.

One of my old neighbours has a gorgeous Staffy who will also swing from trees and loves nothing better than a game of tug. In fact, her son rigged up a tugger into the garage wall for him and when he's bored he'll take himself off for a game of tug - he can never win unless he pulls the wall down :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I think in the case of neck & teeth damage, you'd have to be playing a very rough game. Thankfully, my two never get really rough & if I don't play tug with them them they'll play with each other :lol:

Crittercall
8th March 2007, 03:35 PM
I think the not playing too rough is a bit of the Cavalier personality maybe? My daughter's doxie can be given a "squeek" toy and have the squeeker torn out in less than 30 seconds - obviously with supervision because they time him!

Cathy T
8th March 2007, 04:38 PM
I saw a guy at the dog park playing a really rough game of tug of war with his pit bull....to the point that the dog's feet were off the ground. Not okay!! Ours is a gentle game and the dogs control the strength. I basically hold the toy while they do the pulling....and I release the toy when they start doing the shaking it bit. They "kill" it and drop it for me to throw and then the game starts all over. There is no aggressiveness in the game...other than the dogs' part in it. I don't growl with them and don't get them agitated.

Maxxs_Mummy
8th March 2007, 05:28 PM
I think the not playing too rough is a bit of the Cavalier personality maybe? My daughter's doxie can be given a "squeek" toy and have the squeeker torn out in less than 30 seconds - obviously with supervision because they time him!

:yikes That's some little wrecker she has there - even Maxx takes longer than that to get the eyes out of a teddy :lol:




I saw a guy at the dog park playing a really rough game of tug of war with his pit bull....to the point that the dog's feet were off the ground. Not okay!! Ours is a gentle game and the dogs control the strength. I basically hold the toy while they do the pulling....and I release the toy when they start doing the shaking it bit. They "kill" it and drop it for me to throw and then the game starts all over. There is no aggressiveness in the game...other than the dogs' part in it. I don't growl with them and don't get them agitated.

Sounds like our game Cathy but I think the difference between our lovely babies and terriers is vast anyway. Terriers have these fantastic jaw muscles and some breeds of terrier can actually lock their jaws around things too - it's the strongest part of their body!

I know when my old neighbour's Staffy went 'tree swinging' he would literally jump from branch to branch, gripping each one with his jaws. He used to have a great time and when he'd finished he'd just plop out of the tree again - this huge muscle pack of a dog however, used to run and hide behind his Mamma's legs when he saw Maxx coming towards him as he was scared of him :lol: :lol: :lol:

ppotterfield
8th March 2007, 05:53 PM
My Clumber Spaniel Hadley loves to play tug of war with other dogs. At our Dog Park she will march around with a tug toy and fling it in the face of other dogs trying to get them to take the other end. She is fairly discriminating, however, and avoids certain dogs and just approaches her "buddies." :thmbsup: Buddy our Cavalier used to play with her when he was still a puppy - she would just stand her ground and let him pull and pull. After a while Buddy decided he did not want to play tug with her anymore and that he would rather chase balls, climb up and go down the slide or just sit and visit with people than wear himself out in the hopeless cause of winning tug of war against a 60 lb. dog. :D