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Old 02-07-2013, 03:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Training puppy to tug- pup won't clamp down

I did do a search, but after three pages of results wasn't seeing what I'm looking for.

I just can't get Jinks to really clamp down on toys. I've bought quite a few new toys of different softness/hardness, different materials, different styles, squeaky/not squeaky, etc.

He's a chewer/biter but seems to have almost not desire to tug. Here's a pretty good example actually- he won't clamp down on the toy:


He chases the toys just fine, bites them, but simply won't clamp down. I'm a little frustrated with his complete lack of desire to tug. Thoughts on this? Any games specifically meant to build the desire to tug?
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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To increase the desire to tug for my Lacy, I had to use a flirt pole. Holding the toy and attempting to tug (for some reason) made him release. But put the same toy on a rope and drag it, and he'll hang on for life.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Actually- I have had some success with the flirt pole. He'll chase/catch the toy and then try to get away with it. I can tug with the line of the flirt pole, but if I grab the toy to tug with the toy, he EASILY gives up- almost no tugging. I suppose this is still something and maybe I should just try to build this...
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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HAHAHAHA! Posted the same time, said the same thing! So how did you transition from toy on a rope, to toy without a rope??
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That is what I'm doing. With having the toy on the rope I can creep down the rope while tugging. I've only recently (since Christmas) started working on this for a specific certification. I try to release before he does.

I will say that he's a lot better than he was. He'll hang on a toy while playing (with out the rope) but if I apply too much pressure, he'll release. We're taking baby steps. I can't get him certified till he's two, so I have a year.

I've also found that if I don't look at him directly, he'll hang on longer (with out the rope). My trainer said that he is because he is handler sensitive.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I guess I'll need to make an indoor flirt pole soon... Thanks for the suggestion! Man, I swear- Pimg was/is SOOOO easy to train! I have to keep reminding myself BABY STEPS!! haha!
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Perhaps make high pitched squeaking sounds...you may sound & look funny but that might get the pup to latch on!
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think that there are a variety of issues at work with pups and grip. I went through some of this with my dog. When he was a pup he would go after the flirt pole or rag / tug with a vengeance. However, He would try to control the tug with his feet and not really bite it. Some of this could have been teething. Some could have been handler softness. Some could have been maturity. He is 20 months now and has a very solid grip but that did not really happen until after a year. It was actually like a light switch. One day he just began to bite much harder. It was immediately noticed by the helper.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Noises don't seem to have much affect on his play (other than some noises startle him).
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Although I wouldn't say ANYBODY should do this...I'll admit that it's working for me.....I'll fight with him with a towel, he'll latch on to one end and then I'll 'pretend' to turn the other way and try to run. I make a huge production of it. If he lets go, I'll take the towel and play pretty rough with him. He'll latch on and we start again.

This is a brand new thing he just started (the towel). With the towel I can choke up on it, or just take a corner depending on the level of engagement I can raise him to.

Then during the same session, I'll use the towel to get him to 'bring it'. I'll release it and have him drag it.

FWIW - he'll play tug with Hondo..snout to snout. He'll pull with all he's got. So I figure it's got to be 'me'.
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