Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Berkshires of Western MA
Is "Bite Inhibition Training" undermined by "Tug-of-War" games & pull-toy play?
We are so excited - our puppy will be born later this month, and we will have him by the end of January. We don't want to make early training mistakes, and have been confused by the apparently conflicting advice regarding early "bite inhibition" training and play games.
"Dutch" will be a companion dog, working primarily in obedience and and social activities like playing, hiking, swimming, etc. While we are not interested in PPD or Shutzhund training, we do want him to be an alert watchdog, as opposed to our beloved old Lab, who loves all people, other dogs, cats, etc., and rarely alerts us to anything except an opportunity to play.
I know the GSD's enjoy the pull-toys and tug-of-war games, yet I read in Janet Wall's "How to Love Your Dog: The German Shepherd":
It's a good idea to play gentle games with your German Shepherd puppy. Don't play teasing games or tug-of-war games when they are young because, like all dogs, they can make your dog more aggressive.
As your dog gets larger, he won't know how to calm down if he is used to playing roughly.
What should I do? I don't want to get sued or have my dog taken away because he bites someone, but I want him to enjoy the activities that are natural and safe for him and our family!