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Have you ever taught a dog to play tug AND had him be a successful retriever?

  • Yes, I did

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  • I taught him and it ruined him

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  • No, I don't believe in teaching working retrievers to tug

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I play "Tug" with the dog at home, but only with a rope toy. I would never do it with a training aid. BTW- I never let him win.
 

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Yes - I do.

For a variety of reasons (would take me pages how I introduce tug), not only because I think tug creates stress/confusion relief and therefore drive/momentum/concentration/motivation is reinstigated - and more worthwhile and safer (physically) than happy bumpers.

One thing though, when I finally release the tug, after making it dead, so to speak, my dogs know the game is over and training is about to begin restart or finish on a good note.
 

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Never ever!!!!
Throw for mine to retrieve that's their everything.
Sue
 

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tug

I never did because the books said not to, and that was ggod enough for me. I used to get after my wife and kid for doing it occasionally.
 

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My dog plays tug in the house with a bone, but not with a bumper or duck. Outside is different, he knows the difference when I am playing ot when we are training.
 

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Yes have taught my pup tug. I used the Leerburg DVD : Building Grip, Drive, and Focus. I use it to build concentration with Obedience instead of alot of Corrections. Just my $.02.
 

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I've played tug with both my dogs. No hardmouth. One gets a little mouthy, but it's a response to stress. I heard mention of playing tug with puppies in Jackie Merten's Sound Beginnings. I couldn't believe they were doing it so I emaild her, and sure enough. She does it with more timid type dogs, but she said to be careful about teaching the drop command and also warned against letting a dominant dog win. I would think if done incorrectly it could cause more of a sticking problem than a dog that chomps.

I also did the spinning that Aussie does (I think). See what ghoffman105 said above... It's good stuff - Bernard Flinks.
 

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huntingrdr said:
My dog plays tug in the house with a bone, but not with a bumper or duck. Outside is different, he knows the difference when I am playing ot when we are training.
Exactly. If you keep the training and play separate, the dog knows the difference between play and work. I mean I wouldn't play tug with a bumper and certainly not with a duck out in the field nor at home.
 

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Buzz said:
Jackie Merten's Sound Beginnings.... She does it with more timid type dogs, but she said to be careful about teaching the drop command and also warned against letting a dominant dog win.
Interesting the first part of that, using it as a tool for more timid dogs. And I agree with the second part not letting Alpha type dogs win. Now that I think about it, she is also using it as a tool to show who the real pack leader is- Jackie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, everybody. It's interesting that nobody who's done it has had any mouth problems as a result of it.

My own experience (with non-retriever breeds) is that it dramatically improves a dog's release, and with an added toss here and there, makes retrievers out of non-retrievers.

I've just been thinking about this and pondering whether the "fact" that we can't do this with retrievers is really a fact or just an old superstition.

As a kid, my father threatened to spank me if he caught me throwing sticks for the Labs (so I made him get me my own dog :wink: ) but my kids threw sticks for mine, and I have never sent a dog for a bird and had him or her come back with a stick.

My father also told me that he'd never own a dog he had to force fetch or use an ecollar on. His current dog has both. :wink: :D :wink:

Sometimes we have to re-examine why we do the things we do (or do not do).
 

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hhlabradors said:
Sometimes we have to re-examine why we do the things we do (or do not do).
Yes we should, that is one way to make progress. If one goes back and read some old training books like James Free's. You'll find how much things have changed in the last 50 years. Example: Free is adamant about not starting training a dog until it is over one year of age. And today the training starts with puppy bumpers thrown down the hall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Losthwy said:
Example: Free is adamant about not starting training a dog until it is over one year of age. And today the training starts with puppy bumpers thrown down the hall.
And there was "You can't keep a hunting dog in the house. You have to keep him outdoors or the scents in the house will ruin his nose" and "You can't let him play with the kids, or have anyone but yourself handle and feed him".

With all the traveling people do for their jobs these days, the poor dogs would starve! :wink:
 

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ghoffman105 said:
Yes have taught my pup tug. I used the Leerburg DVD : Building Grip, Drive, and Focus. I use it to build concentration with Obedience instead of alot of Corrections. Just my $.02.
..thanks for posting this resource...

Judy
 

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That is an interesting question. I had this discussion at the Women's Field Trial with a handler that also teaches obedience. One thing she said is we teach our dogs to fetch and hold but never teach them to drop or leave it. She said she teaches the dogs to play tug of war and when she wants the dog to drop, the dog gets a little squirt from a squirt gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Roger Perry said:
That is an interesting question. I had this discussion at the Women's Field Trial with a handler that also teaches obedience. One thing she said is we teach our dogs to fetch and hold but never teach them to drop or leave it.
That's interesting. The first part of the FF process I teach is the "out." Hearing that permission to spit that nasty gloved hand out :wink: is about the most rewarding thing you can offer a dog who's just started this. You can then make use of backchaining principles all through the FF process, moving backwards to hold, and then to fetch, always moving from the newest and most anxiety producing to the comfort of the known. The "out" becomes a conditioned reward. It cuts way down on stickiness on the release.

But. I also compete in obedience. Maybe it's just one of those obedience oddities that we do it this way.
 

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I have and I don't do it with training tools...........never had a problem with tugging on any of the training tools
it helps when you have piece of rope attached to the fridge door...........dog can bring you cold one but it's hard to teach him(in my case) to close the door.
Actual command I use is pull. Every once in a while we play tug with rope and rope only
 
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