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Thread: Playing "tug o war" with your dog...good or bad? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-02-2012 04:17 PM
RowdyDogs Just chiming in on the side of tug. I do think it helped Hector become bolder and more confident, but not aggressive at all. It's actually one of the preferred methods of rewarding dogs on my search and rescue team, because it keeps them in drive and they love it.

I'm sure like anything there are exceptions and some dogs may become more aggressive, but I don't think it's a common problem in the least. I have seen two dogs whose owners claimed that playing tug made them aggressive, but when I evaluated the dogs, I felt it was other management/training problems causing the aggression. Tug was blamed because it was the most obvious symptom and often the first place the aggressive behavior surfaced, but it wasn't actually the cause.
12-02-2012 02:30 PM
onyx'girl Tug O' War is a Fun Game to Play With Your Dog - Whole Dog Journal Article
12-02-2012 10:07 AM
runnershigh108 Thank you everyone for the advice. I will continue with the tug as a reward. SHe likes that more then treats and she is very responsive once the "out" command is given.
12-01-2012 07:17 AM
doggiedad watch out for your hand and fingers when playing tug especially
in the winter. when they miss the tug toy and get a peice of your
hand in the winter, it'll make you slap your grand mother while she's
baking a cake for you on a beautiful Sunday morning.
12-01-2012 04:38 AM
Mooch I play tug with my 9 month old male and boy is he strong - I need to be standing up and use both hands on his kong frisbee.

I have been a bit "tougher" with him recently if he's been lunging for the frisbee before I've allowed him "tug"
He's accidentally grabbed my hands or fingers several times by being very exuberant and left rather painful bruising.
I do tell him off for that, usually a firm "aaahhhh careful" and then I may make him sit or drop and wait before either trowing the frisbee or initiating tug again.
He's not being aggressive just a bit rude and an exuberant puppy. I was a bit concerned at the start that I may be "squashing" his fun and drive but I just can't have him lunge up at the frisbee whenever he feels like it - just because I have it in my hand and am moving it into position to throw doesn't mean he can grab it.

Mrs.K I really enjoyed your Video, I'll have to work on making Hex "drop" on the Aus command. He is really good on his "aus" but I have never thought of making him drop at the same time - what would be the best way to teach him to do that?
12-01-2012 01:43 AM
NoVAGSDGuy I am probably a little more trusting with my dog than I should be, I use about an 8 inch piece of wood, which I use for tug and toss. I will throw it for her once, next time I make her grab her end and pull as hard as she can (her jaws are right next to my hand), then I make her jump for it, and then I toss it again, its a good tool, that since I work nights we do it for probably 20 minutes every morning and then I get to sleep
12-01-2012 12:37 AM
hunterisgreat All depends on the dog and the owner. I do the bulk of the helper work on my own dogs. Katya will guard me and hackle and snarl at me. When I work her she would absolutely bite me for real. Still, I can give her the sleeve and then hug and praise her and she'll lick me to death with no lingering aggression. Just depends on you and the dog
12-01-2012 12:21 AM
KanesCash i tug with both my dogs and i have never had any problems, and just like fetching the game starts and ends when i decide, it gets interesting when both of them want to play with the same rope
11-30-2012 10:37 PM
Gretchen It's good until your dog gets so strong and you begin to age and it injures your bicep tendon. Ouch, my right shoulder hurts.
11-30-2012 10:26 PM
katdog5911 Stella loves a good game of tug. It is on my terms and she has to release the tug when i say so. Her favorite thing to tug is a jolly ball with a handle. Gets kind of tricky with both of us holding onto 1 handle! I usually wear leather gloves to protect my fingers! But she understands when I say "watch the fingers", and will release her grip. I wish they made a folly ball with 2 handles.
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