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Thread: Tug of War

  1. #1
    Member CBeaty's Avatar
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    Default Tug of War

    My new pup comes in 3 weeks and I have gotten the sound beginnings DVD and plan to get Fowl Dogs as well.

    Simple question. As far as playing with a pup, if you have a specific tug toy does it really mess up the training down the road? This will be my second lab but first attempt at any training past OB.

    Thx

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rick_C's Avatar
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    Like a lot of training ideas, I think you will find people securely entrenched on both sides of the fence with this one. Some say no problem, some say absolutely not.

    When my 13 mo was very young we played tug but only with specific toys (a chew rope in this case). As he grew up and the training got more structured I stopped but it never had a negative affect on him.

    I guess I'm on the "let puppy's be puppy's" side of the fence
    Rick Curtis ~ Now in Ontario, CA

    Little Man Caught It On The River SH ~ "Ace"

    Handlers Handle, Dogs Dog, Judges Judge

    "If you train a young dog for momentum, precision will arrive. If you train for precision, demanding perfection, momentum will depart."
    ~Rex Carr

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jon Couch's Avatar
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    If your puppy is really laid back I would play tug of war to bring his prey drive up, but on the other hand if you have a wild child for me all playing would have to do with retrieving. Just my .02
    Jon Couch
    Duck Creek Kennels
    Allegan, MI

    http://duckcreekkennels.com

    "It's very important to constantly analyze what you are doing and whether your dogs are being good or bad because of what you are doing or in spite of what you are doing." Mike Lardy

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    Member CBeaty's Avatar
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    He is a choc male from the breeding of Dakota Cajun Roux and Bayou Lab's Pretty Cher (with GP Gentle Ben in her lineage)

    Retrieving I am betting isn't going to be the issue

    Any definite no no's that both sides are agreed on related to this?

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    Senior Member Tollwest's Avatar
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    I think playing tug is fine as long as it is a game with very specific rules. Only play with a specific toy, dog does not go for the toy until given the tug command, dog MUST release the toy the instant you say to, and teeth must never contact human flesh (even accidental will end the game). You always start the game, and you always end the game. On a really assertive, dominant type dog I would always win the game. On a soft submissive dog that you are trying to boost confidence on it can work well to let them win sometimes but I still would always win the last time before we stop.

    Some dogs never really get into it, but for the ones that do it can be used as a really good reward - I have used it as a "jackpot" in obedience work etc - the dog nails something difficult and I whip out the tug toy (which had been hidden on me) and we have a tug party for a minute or so! Then the toy gets hidden and we go back to work.

    I do not believe that playing tug as a strict game with very specific rules encourages hard mouth or bad retrieving habits. But playing tug without rules might....

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    We don't play tug with our dog. I chose to avoid the whole issue.

    There are lots of other fun things to do with my dog.
    Stray labs make great pets.
    Proud member of the FF society.

  7. #7
    Senior Member i_willie12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_LAB View Post
    We don't play tug with our dog. I chose to avoid the whole issue.

    There are lots of other fun things to do with my dog.
    Agree

    I dont wanta create the problem!!!!!! Didnt start playing tug a war with my last lab till he was over a year. At that point I knew we wouldnt create any problems!!!
    "Some people pride themselves on how far they can shoot ducks, others pride themselves on how close they can get them. I'm an other!!! "
    John Stephens RNT

    HRCH Wilson's Grand Prairie Pintail
    http://wilsonsretrievers.com/

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    Senior Member Leddyman's Avatar
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    I agree with duck creek. I play tug if I feel a puppy needs a boost in confidence. I always let a timid puppy win. I never win the game. With a hard headed puppy I probably wouldn't play tug.
    Terry Moseley
    Bad Motor Scooter SH

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    There could be 5 or 6 ninjas in this room right now.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Squirm88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBeaty View Post
    My new pup comes in 3 weeks and I have gotten the sound beginnings DVD and plan to get Fowl Dogs as well.

    Simple question. As far as playing with a pup, if you have a specific tug toy does it really mess up the training down the road? This will be my second lab but first attempt at any training past OB.

    Thx
    It was nice to meet you at the Central Florida HRC training day. Glad to see you'll be getting your pup soon. Be sure to post some pictures when he arrives.

    My take on your question is that its OK for a young pup to have a specific tug toy. You may want to phase any tug games out once you move into formal obedience and force fetch. I would suggest never playing tug with a bumper and putting them away once you are done training or retrieving. I try to get across that bumpers are training tools and not for play.
    David Cruz

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