how to get him to play tug of war - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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how to get him to play tug of war

Zero never is interested in toys, he has one rubber ball with a small bit of string on it but he just never wants to pull on it. how do i get him to want it?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 08:06 PM
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Maybe try getting a rope tug with the stringy bits in the ends. Kind of shake it near his face and see if he will mouth it. When he goes to mouth it, whip it away so he can't get it, then give it right back. Tease him a bit, then let him get his mouth on it. "Good boy!!!" Now run away (slowly) with the tug at his face level and shake it. Say something like "Get it!" Praise when he puts his mouth on it.

I'm not sure how you would proceed after that, other than tug seems to be kind of instinctive. I keep up a running stream of praise and encouragement when I play tug: "Oh get it! Good boy, that's it, get it!!!"

This is just how I did it, there are probably better ways to teach this.

Leah
Niko: American Showline GSD 5 years old
Rosa: American Muppet Dog (GSD/Border Collie mix) 5 years old
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 08:37 PM
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are you saying your dog has 1 toy? buy a few toys.
he'll find something he likes. how old is Zero???

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Zero never is interested in toys, he has one rubber ball with a small bit of string on it but he just never wants to pull on it. how do i get him to want it?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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are you saying your dog has 1 toy? buy a few toys.
he'll find something he likes. how old is Zero???

oh no thats no how i meant it. my dogs have LOTS of toys, but he only has one he plays with.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 03:38 PM
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Leerburg has some videos I ordered so I could understand the whole tug of war mental state of the dog while being safe and not getting an accidental bite. It is a good game to play to also reinforce commands. Angeles is a tug of war dog! I've got sick for a bit and now I need to get back to the principles presented in the videos. Cause Angeles will bring me his toys to play tug or catch. He is getting so much better at the drop it commands (I normally tell him to "aus" - hope I spelled that right - and follow up with give it to daddy!) He is a bit mouthy and wants to make sure I have the item I want to throw...so working through that. But tug - OMG....he could tug all day.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 03:47 PM
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Try a flirt pole, and tease him with it like you'd tease a kitten. Once he's gotten hold of it, make it "wriggle" in his mouth so that he'll want to bite down harder. From there you can add a little bit of pressure, gradually, so that he can build his bite. If he lets go, swish the toy about with jerky, unpredictable movements to excite his prey drive so that he latches on again. When he's got a good, deep grip on the toy, let go of it so that he "wins" the game. Gradually you can start to challenge him more. How old is he? If he's teething, you need to be careful about tugging.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Freestep View Post
Try a flirt pole, and tease him with it like you'd tease a kitten. Once he's gotten hold of it, make it "wriggle" in his mouth so that he'll want to bite down harder. From there you can add a little bit of pressure, gradually, so that he can build his bite. If he lets go, swish the toy about with jerky, unpredictable movements to excite his prey drive so that he latches on again. When he's got a good, deep grip on the toy, let go of it so that he "wins" the game. Gradually you can start to challenge him more. How old is he? If he's teething, you need to be careful about tugging.

perfect! ill try that thanks!

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 06:03 AM
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my dog has a lot of toys also but he has his
favorites. when it comes to tug he'll do that
with anything (tee shirt, shoe, stick, rope, etc ).

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oh no thats no how i meant it. my dogs have LOTS of toys, but he only has one he plays with.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 05:57 PM
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I'm in the same boat my 18 or so mo old dutch shep mix will only go after balls, I tried the ball on the string method. I finally got her to mouth at it but she just holds on, doesn't tug or attempt to take the object just stands there with it in her mouth and eventually tries to lay down. I have no clue how to rile her up and get her excited to tug.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 07:57 PM
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Definitely try different kinds of tug toys. Neither of my dogs are that interested in firehose tugs, they're too hard. But they like linen, braided fleece, and leather tugs - they're softer so there's more give when they grab onto it.

And as Good Karma and Freestep suggested, make it MOVE!!!

-Debbie-
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Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
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