Allow tug games, with puppy teeth? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Allow tug games, with puppy teeth?

Tug toys, and general tugging games appears to be really good exercise and good for later training and power in the "direction of protection"... I think that is an original "direction of protection", you can have that one...heh he

I am a little worried about early extraction, pulling teeth out before they are due...

Is this a concern, or with a puppy tug, is the power not enough to worry about if I just hold and gently tug, do not pull back?

Kind regards from Oz, Australia to you Mate...

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 01:30 AM
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You have to be careful playing tug when they are teething. What I like to do is just wriggle the tug around, let them pull a bit, but not pull back. If the pup likes to retrieve at this stage, I do more retrieve play than tug.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 07:40 AM
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I only do very soft/gentle tugs with mostly wiggling the toy until after teething. I give just enough resistence as the pup can feel a pull but just barely. If the pup pulls I always give to the pup and praise away especially since we are going to enroll in the new SCH group starting next year.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 09:40 AM
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If you are working towards developing the bite for protection work, then part of playing tug with your dog is to teach it to bite full, bite hard, and fight hard for the tug. Letting them win after a good fight from their part teaches them how to bite, how hard to pull, and what to do to win, and expecting them to work hard to win builds their confidence and commitment to the fight.

So when working with a protection dog prospect, you want to avoid playing tug during the teething period where they may not be able to bite and tug as hard as they could, and playing gently and letting them win with only a bit of tugging is perfectly okay when playing for fun, but counterproductive when using tug games to develop bite-work.

I don't think there would be so much a worry about pulling teeth out that are due to fall out anyways - the worry would be having the dog develop sloppy/lazy habits. Also playing tug too rough during teething that they get some teeth yanked out may cause pain, which could create an early negative association with tug-games.

So while fine when playing for fun, if you are serious about developing a protection prospect, I would lay off tugging with a teething puppy until all their adult teeth are in.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your comments...

Particularly You CastleMaid... This was a reality check for me, and your answer was EXACTLY as I suspected and will in fact do. Bite and tug work will be minimized to nil until the puppy has adult teeth.. With other pups I used a stretchy elastic sock to begin the tug games, and let the puppy win and march around proudly with it...

I think I will focus more on retrieval play.. Thank you all for your answers..

lone Ranger, out on the Last Frontier... Oz
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