How do I teach her to tug? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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How do I teach her to tug?

I have been thinking about taking my girl Mina (1 yr and some change, F GSD) to a local Shutzhund club for fun (not necessarily competition). After going and checking it out one week I came home and realized, she has great ball drive, but she won't tug. I adopted her from a local shelter so I can't speak for anything before I adopted her, but I have never played a game of tug with her (after reading a few years back it teaches them to challenge your authority). If I try to play with her now with a rope, rag, t-shirt she just ignores it and goes to find a bone. But is there any way I could teach her to tug now?

Any and all advice is much appreciated!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 11:04 AM
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Re: How do I teach her to tug?

This "how to create a motivating dog toy" article is great:

I am pretty sure that I first saw that link when it was posted here by MaggieRoseLee. My dog liked tug but when I started to do the things mentioned there, he began to LOVE it.

Regarding the "challenges your authority" part of your post - we play tug in a pretty structured way, as I'm sure you will too especially if you are interested in Shutzhund. Charlie has to sit and wait till I give him the cue to tug (which is, oddly enough: TUG!). He also has to drop it on command and sit again until I release him to play. Sometimes I really make him work on his patience before I release him - I'll wave the tug around, act really crazy and sing a song about the tug toy, all while he has to stay in a sit. I honestly feel that, rather than making Charlie challenge my authority, playing tug like this has helped him work on his patience (a LOT) and it has certainly helped with the "drop it" command. It's fun, a great reward, and he learns to listen while really involved in play, so it's good all around.

MH & Charlie the GSD (he just turned 1!)

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 11:48 AM
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Re: How do I teach her to tug?

Try that method posted from "Say Yes" dog training. I rescued a female GSD from the local kill shelter. She was about a year old and liked a ball but didn't know tugging. Doing obedience with her I was using food fine but decided some more drive with a toy would be even better. I tried the method posted in the link. It worked!! She woke up to that toy! Try to find ones she likes as you work with her. Less is more. Don't over power her. I accidently hurt my girl once and it took awhile to get her to come back to it...softie.

Sessions should be short and wicked fast/fun. Leave her wanting more once you get interest. The beginning was slow, but then took off once mine got the idea.

Make it all a game as you go along and don't get hung up at the beginning it is takes a bit to get response.

Also, my girl really likes a toy on string or flirt pole. You might try that in the beginning to build drive. I have back tied my girl and done the flirt pole toy too. She really goes after things moving fast on the ground so that helped also. Maybe a ball on a string some too so that she might learn to tug with something she is already attracted to and then switch to other tug items.

Carla and The Pack
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How do I teach her to tug?

Thanks! I checked out and read through the article and it sounds great, I'm going to get started on it today! And I was thinking I'd either go out and buy or make a tug for her with a tennis ball since, like you said, she is already keen on it. Thank you!
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