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Thread: Home vs Field

  1. #11
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irishwhistler View Post
    "TUG OF WAR"??? Why train in and perhaps entrench behavior that you will find highly undesireable down the road? Such behavior may need to be "trained out" later, or may not be possible at all if highly established within the dog. It is far better to prevent problems and not need to correct them later when to do so will only lead to frustration and confusion for yourself and the dog later.......
    Cheers,
    Irishwhistler
    while this sounds sound, it is an old wife tail.
    retrievers are able to play tug.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bora View Post
    while this sounds sound, it is an old wife tail.
    retrievers are able to play tug.

    Ken,
    Not to contest your stance on "tug of war", but I don't agree with your stance that generalizes that retrievers can play tug of war with little negative effect. Though I have no hard data to go by, I would think that doing so may be more problematic with dogs that had not been force fetch conditioned, the problems I see as the potential for reluctance to release birds "delivered" to hand, and for that of "hard mouth" type handling of birds. Again, far from scientific, but I still say why cause problems for that which is preventable. JMHO.

    Irishwhistler

  3. #13
    Senior Member rboudet's Avatar
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    [QUOTE="Though I have no hard data to go by, I would think..."[/QUOTE]

    I stand with Ken

  4. #14
    Junior Member GRun's Avatar
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    I have done it both ways. In the distant past, I was more old-school. To me field dogs were meant to live in a kennel and dealt only with me, trainer, vet, etc. My current pup is 5 mos, live in the house, and spends a lot of time with wife and kids when I am not there. I had all of the same concerns you have, but our new pup is doing great in this arrangment, probably more well rounded than my other dogs were. My wife and kids play with and care for the pup as they would with any family pet, and I have not noticed any problems. The only "rule" I have is is they do not sit and/or steady the dog for a play retrieve. I think your relationship with the dog will be whatever you make of it in the time you spend with the dog training, hunting and bonding.

    Good Luck. Enjoy the entire dog.
    Jeff

  5. #15
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irishwhistler View Post
    I see as the potential for reluctance to release birds "delivered" to hand, and for that of "hard mouth" type handling of birds.
    simple, if you choose to play tug. do not use a bird as your tug toy.
    you know how a retriever is able to give an 11 pound Canada Goose
    a death shake and still take a cookie "easy" from a 4 year old child???
    It is the same thing.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  6. #16
    Senior Member Mark Littlejohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rboudet View Post
    I stand with Ken
    Me too. My 2 softest mouthed dogs play t-o-w. My bone cruncher does not. I'm 3 for 3 on this.

  7. #17

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    Irishwhistler,
    I have actual data as I've used tugging as a form of reinforcement and as a way to manipulate my dogs' state of drive during training, particularly with my youngest. There's not a problem with tugging per se. It depends on how you play the game. With my dogs, tugging has rules. The same rules would apply if I just wanted tug to be a fun game with the dog.

    Some basic rules of tugging include: (1) the dog must release the tug toy immediately when requested to do so; (2) if I toss the tug, the dog must pick it up and return it to me immediately; and (3) I decide when the game starts and ends. The dog learns these rules through training. Tug as a game with rules is a skill that's taught incrementally. When my young dog was first learning the rules of the game as a little pup, she got lots of opportunities to practice releasing the toy when I asked her to. As soon as she released the tug toy, I immediately offered it to her again and told her to get it. Her earliest experience was that giving something up meant that she'd get it right back. Getting the toy back was great reinforcement for releasing it and shaped a prompt and reliable release. You can ask a dog to release a tug toy many times during a short game of tug. Repetition builds behavior! Over time, she learned that she didn't always get things back immediately, or ever. By that point, it was of no concern to her. She has never been sticky and her mouth habits are excellent. I think playing tug helped shape her into a dog that's not possessive of the retrieve object.

    And as Ken mentioned, you don't tug with a bumper. Dogs know the difference between tug toys, bumpers, and birds.

    I hope this was helpful in explaining how tug can be a good thing, if done properly.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by davewolfe View Post
    I don't let anyone play tug of war with any of my dogs, just one of my thing. I don't know if this could teach a bad habit, but don't want to find out.


    My 2 cents
    David Wolfe
    I got no hard data either, but Dave's sentiment pretty much hits the nail on the head as to my feelings. There are plenty of games to play with your dog; Why tug of war?

  9. #19
    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bora View Post
    you know how a retriever is able to give an 11 pound Canada Goose
    a death shake...
    How effective is a death shake on an 11 pound goose?
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

  10. #20
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HNTFSH View Post
    How effective is a death shake on an 11 pound goose?
    if done by an 85 pound Chessie, it is very effective
    maybe if done by, say a mini goldendoodle, not so much
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

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