Not suited for sport or just bored? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Not suited for sport or just bored?

I have a 9-month old female WL German shepherd.

She has been coming to my training club for 2-3 months.

During those visits, she was tied, watching the other dogs.

At the last two club meetings, the trainer began working a tug with her.

A week ago, she played a little with the tug, but seemed to lose interest after several pulls.

Last night, she sat watching the trainer move a variety of tugs in front of her in a variety of ways.

She made no effort to grab the tug, and seemed more interested in the grass.

Her reaction to the tug was significantly less at both sessions compared to other pups of similar age( two Malinois, 8 months and 11 months) at same basic level of training.

Her reaction was also much less than my other shepherd, a SL male, who I began bringing to the club, albeit at an older age of 18 months.

The trainer tried a smaller tug, as well as a rag....same lack of reaction.

The trainer suggested that I stop playing tug with her at home to increase her interest at the club (and I guess build frustration?).

She enjoys the tug at home, and works fairly hard to get it.

Does this sound like a puppy who is bored, and who would benefit from building frustration, or a puppy who may just not be suitable for sport?

Thanks for your thoughts.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 03:44 PM
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Have you tried a flirt pole with a rag at the end?

Not sure if this is what the TD was doing or not, but the "prey" like movements of the flirt pole may build interests.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 03:45 PM
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Both females I've had won't play tug when my husband tries it, but will with me. Must be a submissive posture or something like that. They wouldn't play bite or wrestle or anything where they thought he was being dominant, even though he was playing- or trying to get them to. When he would try to play tug with Omy she would drop it and let him have the toy. Uschi would drop her ears and get all wiggly and submissive, so it could be something like that with your girl.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 04:01 PM
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What about having her out so she could watch others, build up some drive and then put her up. Take her back out and see if it helps?

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick response.

elisabeth_00117: The tug and the rag were on the end of a cord, not a pole.

Stosh: She didn't appear to be submissive. She sat looking directly at him with her ears erect. The tug was moving in front of her, and above her head. She eventually turned away, and looked towards the street.

Both comments make sense, but I still have the same basic concern.

Should a sport dog need that much stimulation, or consideration of who is presenting an object, to chase a tug/rag?
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, missed the third reply.

Yes, that was the suggestion of the trainer, and the breeder.

We will let her watch for the next 8-12 weeks.

I'm hopeful she is a "late bloomer".

Chasing a tug seems to me to be a fairly basic trait however that shouldn't require so much thought.

Nonetheless, I've only been working with my older dog for 12-18 months, and don't have a good frame of reference.

Thanks for your input.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 04:30 PM
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I did a lot of back tie work with Stark (now 16 months old) and still do.

He is not a "sport bred dog" (mix of showlines and working) and in the beginning his drive really was no-existent. It's getting better but no where near the level of some of the other dogs, especially the working lines and Mals at the club.

This just means that *I* have to work harder!

Stark is a regular at the fence (area where we back tie dogs to watch protection work) because he gets worked up but them looses momentum. It seems to help for a few weeks.. then it's back to the same thing.

I know I won't be getting any top schH titles with Stark but that's okay, we are doing it for fun right now. I am starting to research breeders for my next dog and am definitely going with a working line dog with an experience breeder in the sport.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 05:04 PM
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It took four sessions of tug of war with the helper to get Britta interested in the game. The fourth time we were ready to give up on her, but I got an old toy out of the car and she came to life. She went on to get a Schutzhund III.

Don't give up too quickly.

"What's there to dominate when your dog is well trained and it does what you ask??" - DoggieDad
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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I'll admit to some frustration.

I need that toy.

Thanks for the encouragement, and congratulations re Britta.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 06:02 AM
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i wouldn't give up on her, she may very well be a late bloomer, some dogs need a bit of teasing to be interested, at least in the beginning stages........my young male was the same way, once i started teasing him with the tug, he came to life. i also started playing with him in different locations other than at home........places with more distractions once he got more interested in the tug.........now he goes nuts over it, but it did take alot of work and creative ways in the beginning to bring it out. some dogs need alot more coaxing, it doesn't mean they aren't right for the sport..........keep trying different things..........different toys and teasing her with them.........i don't know how many tugs and toys i tried before i hit on something..........it can be frustrating finding the right tools, but keep trying,.............

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