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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. So, our favorite go-to reward ball is the yellow starmark foam ball on a leather rope. It doesn't break, it's light. But he seems to like the grab on the more solid rubber balls and can tug harder. I've alternated back and forth as to what I reward him with.

Especially because every ball on a rope I have bought him has broken fairly quickly. Wondering if anybody has a suggestion for one that lasts a little longer. My favorite one had a leather circle at my end and it was the most comfortable one I've ever tugged with him on, maybe why it broke in a week or so. I think that one might have been made by gappay? I didn't get another because it broke so fast it wasn't worth the money.

I had better luck with this one than some:
http://www.elitek9.com/Elite-Working-Balls-with-T-tug-Handle/productinfo/BA01/

we *just* broke it and I feel like we've had this one a few months.

Whatever I try has to have something on my end because he is super strong and I can't hang on to a flat piece of rope. Would love to find a better one with that leather tab, because sometimes the plastic handle on the one above scared me flying around his head

don't think I want a nylon strap because I am pretty sure he would give me a gnarly rope burn

So, any suggestions for a sturdy ball on a rope with some sort of tab on my end so I can hang on?
 

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I've seen a number of people use Nero. I just use a Kong ball with a hole through the center and tie it off with a decent string. Not as long lasting but my dogs love them. I also have a Top Matic ball with the magnet inside. Just don't do like I did and loose the magnet that you put onto your jacket or training vest. Dang expensive to replace. Top-Matic Magnetic Fun Ball with Rope
 

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Discussion Starter #7

I use something similar with a leather rope by Leerburg: Roni Ball with Leather Strap Handle


BUT my young girl LOVED the leather and chewed thru in in 5 seconds flat! lol

So she can only have it when we are in play/work mode.


Moms /forum/images/smilies/smile.gif
This looks good...same leather strap style I use on the foam ball but there is no knot. Wonder if I could knot it myself?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
He doesn't chew the leather strap and he also only has this toy when we train so no worries there.

I have to jealously guard then from my other dog because she would destroy it in less than 15 seconds if I wasn't looking
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Make your own! I like chuck it balls (the erratic bounce ones) with braided paracord through the holes. They last a really long time.
Wish somebody would put the orange chuckit ball on a leather rope! That's his all time favorite ball---he would freak out for that
 

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Wish somebody would put the orange chuckit ball on a leather rope! That's his all time favorite ball---he would freak out for that

What about taking the ChuckIt that comes on a short nylon strap and tying a strip of leather to it? I believe you can get just the leather strapping from Leerburg, which comes directly from an Amish farm there. If you can't find them on the site, call them. I met the guy that makes the balls when I was at Leerburg a few months ago.

:wink2:
 

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Follow up as I can't edit my post now.

If you're worried about rope burn, just upgrade the rope yourself...

Thread the line through a section of rubber tubing from the hardware store

Wrap the handle portion in padded grip tape for baseball bats from local sporting goods store

Take an old piece of leather and staple / rivet / sew it around the handle

etc etc
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What about taking the ChuckIt that comes on a short nylon strap and tying a strip of leather to it? I believe you can get just the leather strapping from Leerburg, which comes directly from an Amish farm there. If you can't find them on the site, call them. I met the guy that makes the balls when I was at Leerburg a few months ago.

:wink2:
I just saw that Leerburg sells the leather strap! woo hoo! I have SO many balls laying around I could put to use. But the smaller strap is sold out. I will keep checking.
 

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If he's tugging hard enough to break it or give you a rope burn, I'd let him win before either one of those happens. You want him to give his best effort, you want him to out, rebite, tug with energy and for it to be fun, not fight with you. They're going to wear over time, but I think if they're breaking before that wear, I'd back it off a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If he's tugging hard enough to break it or give you a rope burn, I'd let him win before either one of those happens. You want him to give his best effort, you want him to out, rebite, tug with energy and for it to be fun, not fight with you. They're going to wear over time, but I think if they're breaking before that wear, I'd back it off a little.
hmm...maybe my technique is wrong. I mean it's pretty much go time the minute get gets it with the harder rubber balls. I don't think he pulls that hard on the foam ball because it's more slippery and he can't grip it as well.

But that's an interesting idea I never thought of... I will experiment with letting him win faster.

I will say though...he loves to tug and he has NO lack of motivation to play or tug, I don't get the impression at all that it isn't fun for him the way we do it now?
 

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hmm...maybe my technique is wrong. I mean it's pretty much go time the minute get gets it with the harder rubber balls. I don't think he pulls that hard on the foam ball because it's more slippery and he can't grip it as well.

But that's an interesting idea I never thought of... I will experiment with letting him win faster.

I will say though...he loves to tug and he has NO lack of motivation to play or tug, I don't get the impression at all that it isn't fun for him the way we do it now?
He’s saying it’s not actually a tug toy, don’t use it like one and he won’t keep destroying them.

It’s for long throws to tire them out and quick rewards while training.

Example: right now the biggest thing I use mine for is focused heeling. If my girl goes a certain distance in correct form I release her and she grabs the ball. I jerk it around for a sec so it’s “live” and a bigger reward. Then she’ll pull hard and I let go. Repeat.

I don’t “wrestle” with her over it, that’s what a tug toy is for.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
He’s saying it’s not actually a tug toy, don’t use it like one and he won’t keep destroying them.

It’s for long throws to tire them out and quick rewards while training.

Example: right now the biggest thing I use mine for is focused heeling. If my girl goes a certain distance in correct form I release her and she grabs the ball. I jerk it around for a sec so it’s “live” and a bigger reward. Then she’ll pull hard and I let go. Repeat.

I don’t “wrestle” with her over it, that’s what a tug toy is for.
I use mine to reward obedience in the same way. I rarely throw the ball on a rope---there isn't room indoors where I often train. I pretty much do what you described. Sometimes I go a little longer than others so he never quite knows what he's gonna get, and sometimes after I out him to resume work I immediately let him get it again so he never knows which out is the last out so he is always on his toes

I do throw it out side, it's also the reward I use for tracking.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No, I mean the same thing with a ball or a tug. You don't need to turn it into combat to accomplish what you want with it.
I'll play around with it next time I work with him and see what what I can do. The only thing I question though-- in his mind I really don't think it's combat. I feel like I know what you mean because with my other dog it is combat--and she gets off on it. He's just happy tugging and I don't think he feels like there's any conflict.

So if he is happy doing it, is that wrong? I feel like he would be disappointed if I tugged less with him. But I could also give him a bit better tug on one of the actual tugs that won't break.
 
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