So I've been having established tug times with Grim (turns 9months tomorrow). There has been a lot of positive rewards from it in both obediance and protection. The one tug we use has become a huge reward and has helped Grim not need to be so food motivated in obediance and has increased his possesion of tugs when doing pro work (not droping the tug when I come up and pet him or handle him on the wedge). I've seen some of the Q&A and other videos on youtube with Micheal Ellis how a munchy grip as puppy and during tug at home doesn't translate to protection work its just bonding time. And thats what I'd like to keep these sessions as.
But with that in mind how can I enable Grim to keep and hold the tug correctly so I can quickly grab both ends of the tug?
Rigth now we'll play he'll have the bite in the middle with my hands on each side, he'll "win" and as I'm backing up calling for him to re engage in tugging sometimes he'll get really munchy and move the tug into what I'll describe as a cigar postion vs a traditional tugging position before coming back to me to play tug with him again.
At home we use "off" and on the field its "ous" to seperate the actions so then at home during play i'll get him to "off" the tug as soon as he starts to munch around then pick up the tug and start over.
On times when he does hold the tug correctly and comes back to me he'll get a larger more vigorous tug reward session.
Is this the right track?
Would using a Wedge at home help him hold a tug?
I wouldn't put a terrible effort into the tug game when there are a ton of other things to be working on. It is a reward and its a bonding game like you said, and you are right it does not translate over to what he will do on sleeves so it isn't a big concern.
If a dog was favoring one side of the tug or the other I would just drop that side and tug with the opposite handle. As long as he was targeting towards the middle when he came in to "strike" the tug and not putting my hands at risk then I wouldn't even bother changing anything.
Does he regrip or chew on the tug while you have it in your actual hands and are tugging? If so you could fix that just by keeping more tension on the tug so that if he does that you can steal it from his mouth. If it was just happening when he was away from you and you were really hellbent on fixing it you might consider tying a rope to the tug and using that rope to steal the tug when he tries to chew or adjust. It would encourage him to keep clamped down while he was away from you.
I don't think it is that big of a deal or worth your energy fixing though.
Tug doesn't translate over to sleeve so I don't see why you would think a wedge would translate over to a tug.
Ok That sounds good, I'm not overly concerned about it. but was curious.
He strikes good and isn't chewy when he's on the tug while im pulling. I usually give him a fairly small target area to go at and he hasn't hit me yet.
We have a rope just for normal play around the house but he's really chewy on that when we tug so I try just use it as fetch toy and not really tug with ti.
I was thinking a wedge would occupy more of his mouth and he wouldn't feel the need to re grip and that its a square where all the sides are the same so he wouldn't prefer one side over the other. I may be over thinking it a bit though. thanks for the input. Im not going to dwell over it.
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