No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Part of it is teaching the dog to target the tug. Smaller tugs can actually be better for this. You can see in the video that car2ner posted that the people hold the tug on each end with a fairly small area between their hands for the dog to bite, and the tug is only 8" long. If you have a larger tug, just don't give them all of it, present a smaller area for them to target. Once your dogs have learned to target it correctly, you can probably use a longer tug, or hold it on just one end or whatever., and the behavior will hopefully transfer.
I have a very long braided fleece tug to use in flyball, and Cava is learning to grab it while I'm running away from her with my back turned. In this case, a long tug is preferable, something that can be dragged on the ground as you run, but also so there's plenty of room for the dog to grab it without being dangerously close to your hand, lol. Some dogs will still bite up though. I have two Orbee balls on Cava's tug, and I've taught her to target those, like I did with Halo. If Halo missed a ball and got the fleece she'd usually re-grip on a ball on her own, or I'd just say "ball" and she would let got of the fleece and grab a ball. At first I used an Orbee ball on a rope with Halo but that was a little gnarly and she did get my hand a couple of times, so I got the idea of making her a tug with Orbees on it.
Cava 1/6/18 *** Keefer 8/25/05
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short