play tug without bite? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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play tug without bite?

I have had this issue with her since she was little and I still havent found a solution. I thought maybe someone might have some advice on what I can do to help.
When we are playing tug, her grip on the rope isnt right, it starts to slip, or she wants to change position,and she will jump up and grab the rope higher and sometimes she will grab my hand. She will let go once she feels that she has my hand but those teeth are really sharp and I end up with scrapes, scratches and sometimes a bruise.
When I start I will tell her to sit and hold the tug out to her and say "easy" she is really good at taking the tug easy, but in the middle of the tug session she will just do this and it happens so fast that I dont have a chance to tell her "easy". I bought the longest rope at the pet store.
Is there something I can do to help save my hands?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 08:43 PM
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For me, tugging is supposed to be fun, building drive and having the dog tug that toy to win it. Telling him easy would be counter-productive to why we are playing the game. And countering is very important...you want the dog to have the toy deep so the bite/grip is solid. Let the dog counter to adjust the bite with tension on the toy, but don't yank it away when the dog is adjusting the grip.

If your dog is young, teething then please wait until all the adult teeth are in.

For a younger pup that hasn't started teething you can still play the game, just adjust your tension gently and let pup win often/prance around before you lift her off to start it over again.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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No shes almost 2.
I taught her "easy" because when she was a pup she would get over excited when she would see me get her toys out and she would grab at the toy and bite my hand.
So I dont expect her to tug easy. Just take the toy from my hand easy. I let her get a deep grip on the toy but for some reason she wont just tug she wants to keep "regripping" if that makes sense.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 09:08 PM
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So are you tugging with her? I don't understand, 'take the toy easy' in the context of tug. Maybe get a better toy so she can target easier? Ball on string, or a two handle tug works better for me than the fleece braided rope toys, especially when the dog counters.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 09:10 PM
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What are you using? Those ropes from the pet store are the worst tugs I think. None of my dogs like them, even my GSDs that came out of the womb tugging!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I am using the braided rope. Maybe that is one of my issues. I guess I am not explaining things so that it is understandable.
From the start of the tug play...
I get the rope out. I call the dog over and ask her to sit. I hold the rope out to her and say "easy". I taught her to easily take things from my hand as a puppy, if i didnt she would get over excited and grab my hand and bite me, so the "easy" command is just used in the start for when she first takes the tug from my hand. I then let her get a good grip on the toy, and we start playing tug. When she starts to tug, instead of just keeping the grip and tugging she likes to kinda readjust her grip constantly and as she adjusts she will grab further up on the tug toy and grab my hand by accident. Its like she wont stay on her side of the tug. I really dont know how to explain it any diffrent. Am I being anymore clear? sorry for the bad discription.
What would be a better toy to use?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 09:32 PM
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Gappay Synthetic 2 handle tug 5x25cm


or a ball: Hallmark K9 - Premium Dog Training Equipment - BALLS
When I play tug, I tease my dog up, make him try to grab it, but don't let him get it until he misses a few times, when he finally gets it, then we tug, tug, tug! Either I out him(by asking for out or holding him by his collar) or let him win. If I out him, he gets rewarded immediately/ "yes" with more game on.
Or I tease him up and put the toy in my arm pit and we start fussing away.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
Gappay Synthetic 2 handle tug 5x25cm


or a ball: Hallmark K9 - Premium Dog Training Equipment - BALLS
When I play tug, I tease my dog up, make him try to grab it, but don't let him get it until he misses a few times, when he finally gets it, then we tug, tug, tug! Either I out him(by asking for out or holding him by his collar) or let him win. If I out him, he gets rewarded immediately/ "yes" with more game on.
Or I tease him up and put the toy in my arm pit and we start fussing away.
So when you tease him like that, he doesnt grab your hand by accident? If I tease Lily like that she would grab at my hand and not the toy. How you do keep him from grabbing your hand instead of the toy? Anytime I have tried this its like she has bad aim, or good, depending on what she is actually after. lol Because she will grab my hand. Or if I teased her with the toy and put it under my arm she would jump up and bite at my arm. Because she would be so excited. She is so well trained in other areas but with this I have just struggled.

Last edited by lily's master; 04-09-2013 at 10:04 PM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 10:05 PM
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Correct her with a collar pop. She's old enough to be corrected and should have enough bite inhibition to control her target area. If she gets away with biting you, she'll keep it up to get to the toy.
I was at training tonight and a dog with over the top ball drive never once bit his handler, even though that ball was right next to her when she outed and then rewarded him. I'm sure she's been tagged by him now and then, but it is never because he's being pushy, more because the timing was off.
If your dog is doing it in a pushy way, she deserves a correction....and game over for that session.

Jane~
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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She is my first dog so maybe I just dont know how to play tug the right way. I would think it was a simple concept but I have never heard anyone else complain of getting bitten while playing tug.
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