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Old 09-14-2008, 06:35 PM
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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I am curious how many people are for or against playing tug with a dog?

I have always played tug with my dogs with rules to the game such as I control when we play and how long we play and stop the game if the dog is getting too close to my hands . I have never agreed with people that say it makes a dog aggressive as I feel it helps teach self control and even bite inhibition ( as if they grab my hand the game stops) ,helps relieve stress, and is great to use as a distraction when necessary or as a reward in training.
Instead of a treat a quick game of tug which Jazz loves more then a treat.

When I was at my sisters up in Portland for the 2nd time this year and went to play tug with her new rescue Bailey my sister told me her trainer said not to play tug as it will make her aggression worse. I did as she asked but did not agree as the previous time Bailey and I had great games of tug and while my sister reports she is aggressive I have yet to see it . To me she has been so submissive and sweet. Bailey bonded to me the first time I met her so my sister jokes that Bailey and I are BFF's! When I am there my sister will ask Bailey to do something and she either runs to me or looks at me for approval before she will do it!!!

I bring this up because The Whole Dog Journal has a great article about Tug in the Sept 2008 issue written by Pat Miller who I think is an excellent positive trainer. If you are against tug you might just want to take a look at this atricle as Pat supports playing tug with rules with most dogs.

So do you play tug or not?
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Old 09-14-2008, 07:35 PM
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I play tug and it sounds a lot like the way you do. For a tug driven dog it is a GREAT reward.
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Old 09-14-2008, 07:59 PM
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Our dog loves to play tug with her blanket. She brings it out from her bed and throws it at our feet. She loves playing tug.
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:07 PM
Location: Florida
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we tug tug tug allllll the time
my hub tugs w/ the dog and they both growl!!!! kinda funny!
it is a energy release, bonding, control(ask for random downs and kisses on our terms), retrieving game.

contrary to manys views we also let our dog play w/ our hands. hes very soft about it and loves it. We play the feet game. We try to grab his front feet and he tries to grab our hands before we get his feet. Again it teachers all of the above traits I listed. I think this game depends a ton on the dog but in our case its beneficial to us all. I have talked to my trainer friend and she does the same while others are strongly against it. to each his own I guess. He will not play this game w/ anyone but us.
He wont play tug w/ others either! ...interesting!
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:11 PM
Location: Mostly in my head
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My trainer explained that when the dog wins, it gives them the idea that they are alpha, which will lead to problems. I could never hold on, my dogs are much stronger than me. However, they play tug with each other all the time! Love those rope toys.
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:20 PM
Location: Blackwater Park
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I've got a small dog, so I always win. He loves to play and tries his best though. If I think he's getting too obsessed, which he often does, I just tell him to drop it. It takes him a few times, but then he gets it fairly soon.

I can see both sides to the topic, but I don't have a problem with it personally. My wife and I both play rough with him though. We wrestle with him a lot. He'll mouth sometimes and we'll just say "no bite" and he'll stop.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:45 PM
Location: The Frenchie Farm, Where We Grow 'em Big!
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We don't do that b/c our frenchies, "Thing 1" and "Thing 2", do it to each other all the time. Toys and large tug ropes are everywhere in this home!
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:57 PM
Location: West Virginia
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If this is true that it makes dogs mean to play tug...Then how come ALL service dog training Starts with TUG. It a Prelude to opening doors..drawers...ect!!
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:59 PM
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with my aussie she loves the game, and a bichon why not? they just did the
play, and etc., it was fun, and I would play, and ok you win! the aussie! she is kind
and just does the puppy, fun, i have not a problem with this! The aussie has a somewhat stronger tug, the bichon goes for the soft tug
the aussie does the play, tug, and the bichon wins! If I play I just do a tug, and the aussie wins!

Last edited by maggiekate; 09-14-2008 at 10:14 PM..
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:03 PM
Location: Jax
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Our dogs play tug with each other, we play tug with our dogs one-on-one, and we even play tug with both dogs at once .

I've never had a problem with tug, and I even let the dog "win" (they're usually going to win anyway).

My dogs are really careful with each other in tug and if one dog loses her grip, the other one will hold still and let her regain her grip before starting to tug again, so it's really a game to them.
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