German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Recently i have been trying to get my dog (15 month old GSD) to bite and tug properly on a french linen tug (3" x 8"). At first he would just jump at the tug and bite, but he would not firmly hold and tug. I have been tying his tug to a leash to develop his prey drive. He enjoys this a lot, but he ends up biting the end of the tug (close to the handle). He wants to tug next to the handle, but I know this is not how to properly use the tug. If he bites near the handle, I move the tug to the correct position, but this makes him lose interest. He won't bite and tug firmly after this. Any tips on developing the correct bite and tug? He does bite and tug correctly about 1 out of every 5 bites on the tug. I praise him and always let him win when he does this.

I follow Robert Cabral on YouTube. He seemed to have a great answer for increasing drive for tugging (video below). He said to increase drive you should make this your dog's only form of play. They shouldn't think they have other options of play. Now, tugging is our only form of play. We used to play fetch and go on unstructured hikes to tire him out. We walk more frequently for exercise, but these are more structured. I stop around every 100 yards or so to let him sniff and mark. Otherwise, he is in a heel. Does correct tugging on these tugs develop time? We had a rubber Kong frisbee that he used to love to tug with. It was pretty durable, but over a month of tugging and fetching it got torn apart. I am tugging with him about 3 times a day. I make sure to keep sessions short, and make sure he is in a high drive state the whole time. I usually finish with a few misses (I think that increases his drive for our next session).

Any tips would be appreciated! I really want to be more interactive with my him while playing. I feel he is not paying attention as much during fetch or hikes. I want to develop a good "bite" or "tug" command that makes him bite firmly and correctly.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
I understand what you mean when you say tug drive, but there is no actual tug drive. You are referring to prey drive with the tug being the prey object. It sounds like your dog doesn't have strong genetics for prey drive. I would back up and use a rag tied to a buggy whip and make quick jerky actions to try to build your dog's prey drive. Misses build frustration/drive. If that increases his prey drive, go to a small tug tied to the buggy whip. If that works, then you can try tying a string to the tug and making prey with it and then put the tug in your hands before the dog bites. The problem with having to work so much on building prey drive is that you shouldn't have to do it with a genetically correct dog. I would also tie him out while you are doing this so you will have more control as to where to move the rag/tug on a string because you dog's movement is limited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
862 Posts
I would find a club near you where you can have ur dog evaluated by a qualified trainer. Doing it yourself is not good
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
My impression was that the OP just wanted to do this as a way of playing with his dog rather than pursuing sport. Go to elitek9.com and you can find leather, synthetic or jute rags on a stick under tugs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I understand what you mean when you say tug drive, but there is no actual tug drive. You are referring to prey drive with the tug being the prey object. It sounds like your dog doesn't have strong genetics for prey drive. I would back up and use a rag tied to a buggy whip and make quick jerky actions to try to build your dog's prey drive. Misses build frustration/drive. If that increases his prey drive, go to a small tug tied to the buggy whip. If that works, then you can try tying a string to the tug and making prey with it and then put the tug in your hands before the dog bites. The problem with having to work so much on building prey drive is that you shouldn't have to do it with a genetically correct dog. I would also tie him out while you are doing this so you will have more control as to where to move the rag/tug on a string because you dog's movement is limited.
I believe my dog has a moderately high prey drive. I can really get him going using a flirt pole or by putting the tug on the ground and moving it around. He will chase after it as long as we keep playing. He loves to chase toys and really wants to tug with other toys. I'm thinking I may have discouraged him as a puppy from tugging. He used to try and tug on towels, my ankles, the leash, etc. I may have been a bit strict while he was around 6-10 months to correct this behavior. I am trying to develop a proper bite and hold on this new tug toy. When we first got the frisbee I mentioned, I could tug with him very hard to the point where I could pick him up off the ground with the frisbee. If he bites the tug where he wants (near the handle, where it has less filling) I can tug very hard with him. I can't really win at all when he does this; I am actually a very big strong guy. I'm mostly having a problem with the proper bite and hold on the correct place of the tug. I am trying to find the balance between discouraging him at tugging the wrong place and encouraging to tug at the right place on the tug.

Thanks for the recommendation of tying him out to build more agitation. I will let everyone knows how that goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
My impression was that the OP just wanted to do this as a way of playing with his dog rather than pursuing sport. Go to elitek9.com and you can find leather, synthetic or jute rags on a stick under tugs.
Thanks for the recommendation on the rags! Maybe I could find a similar material to his tug. It may make him want to bite harder on the tug. I know for a fact that he would love to tug on a rag (it would have no filling like the tug I have now).

I am thinking about getting him into sport, but I can't do this until I move in the summer. There are no clubs near the city I am in. In the meantime, I just want to develop his bite and hold on this new tug for obedience training purposes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
What size tug are you using? If you can get him in drive moving the tug on the ground, all you have to do is quickly get the tug into your hands and hold it on both ends and make a bite bar so to speak with it. Start by letting him bite it on the ground and then walk your hands up the line the tug is tied to and grab it by the ends. If he tends to bite the end of the tug while on the ground, tie the string around the middle of the tug so he is more likely to target the center on the tug. fordogtrainers.com has a disc shaped French linen tug with a rigid u-shaped handle that would only let the dog bite the tug while tied to a string.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
It took a few weeks, but my pup loves those brown army towels tied with a knot in the middle. Some are just towels, Some have a piece of cord tied to a corner. He likes the knot in the towel because it bangs him in the head(but not to hard) when he is shaking the prey he stalked to death :)

He doesn't' hold on very hard yet... But he works himself into a pretty good frenzy shaking it around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
It took a few weeks, but my pup loves those brown army towels tied with a knot in the middle. Some are just towels, Some have a piece of cord tied to a corner. He likes the knot in the towel because it bangs him in the head(but not to hard) when he is shaking the prey he stalked to death :)

He doesn't' hold on very hard yet... But he works himself into a pretty good frenzy shaking it around.
Sounds just like my pup! Whenever he really feels like he won tug, he shakes his toy vigorously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
What size tug are you using? If you can get him in drive moving the tug on the ground, all you have to do is quickly get the tug into your hands and hold it on both ends and make a bite bar so to speak with it. Start by letting him bite it on the ground and then walk your hands up the line the tug is tied to and grab it by the ends. If he tends to bite the end of the tug while on the ground, tie the string around the middle of the tug so he is more likely to target the center on the tug. fordogtrainers.com has a disc shaped French linen tug with a rigid u-shaped handle that would only let the dog bite the tug while tied to a string.
I'm using a 3" b 8" one handed tug. Tying the rope more in the middle of the tug is a great suggestion. I am going to tie it just before the handle; I think this will eliminate the option of him biting the handle or near it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,531 Posts
Not very nice and clean out when he has a good hold and is really tugging. I was told to wait until he develops a solid bit and tug before starting with the out.
That's one school of thought, but from what you're describing, I think you should consider doing something else. Not every dog frustrates in a way that's productive. Rather then fight him for the toy and create conflict with him, use what he likes. It sounds like he likes to fetch? By teaching him to out, you can take advantage of him wanting to chase with the rebite after an out. Its a sequence of tug-freeze the tug still-out-re animate the tug for him to bite. The simplest thing would be to watch Ivan's "Obedience without conflict, the game" Its the difference between him understanding engaging with you is what rewards him, and fighting you for the toy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
That's one school of thought, but from what you're describing, I think you should consider doing something else. Not every dog frustrates in a way that's productive. Rather then fight him for the toy and create conflict with him, use what he likes. It sounds like he likes to fetch? By teaching him to out, you can take advantage of him wanting to chase with the rebite after an out. Its a sequence of tug-freeze the tug still-out-re animate the tug for him to bite. The simplest thing would be to watch Ivan's "Obedience without conflict, the game" Its the difference between him understanding engaging with you is what rewards him, and fighting you for the toy.
You are my savior! I haven't even watched the video yet, but once I got home today, I tried the style you described above. He latched onto the wrong part of the tug. I told him out, which he knows is a command. Then swung it around to get him in a prey drive state, and finally threw it for him to fetch. To retrieve it he bit the middle of the tug. He got back to me and we had our first intense tug session! I pulled pretty hard, and he gripped very hard and wouldn't let go. I can't thank you enough!

As I said above, I am a bit bigger and maybe can be a bit imposing to him and other dogs. This "Obedience without conflict" sounds like our way to a successful strategy to develop good tugging skills.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,531 Posts
You are my savior! I haven't even watched the video yet, but once I got home today, I tried the style you described above. He latched onto the wrong part of the tug. I told him out, which he knows is a command. Then swung it around to get him in a prey drive state, and finally threw it for him to fetch. To retrieve it he bit the middle of the tug. He got back to me and we had our first intense tug session! I pulled pretty hard, and he gripped very hard and wouldn't let go. I can't thank you enough!

As I said above, I am a bit bigger and maybe can be a bit imposing to him and other dogs. This "Obedience without conflict" sounds like our way to a successful strategy to develop good tugging skills.

Thanks!
Lol, I'm not saying you aren't a gigantic powerhouse, but it can be easy to see that type of intimidation of your own dog. I like to leave the conflict between him and a helper. Thats the only time I'd back tie. Like with what you just saw, I like to break up the tugging with a couple tosses here and there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
i've been trying to get Karma to actually tug on a tug myself. I love playing tug of war with dogs, but sadly out of my 3 dogs at home, NONE will even bite down on the tug, not alone actually play tug with me. I have taught all of them not to bite, but to 'mouth' when we wrestle, and i think that is where it might be discouraging them. I can shove my hand in their mouths and grab whatever they have in there, and pull it out without an issue.

i'm going to try a couple of these tricks and see if i can at least get karma to play tug with me. We both could use the workout from it lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
i've been trying to get Karma to actually tug on a tug myself. I love playing tug of war with dogs, but sadly out of my 3 dogs at home, NONE will even bite down on the tug, not alone actually play tug with me. I have taught all of them not to bite, but to 'mouth' when we wrestle, and i think that is where it might be discouraging them. I can shove my hand in their mouths and grab whatever they have in there, and pull it out without an issue.

i'm going to try a couple of these tricks and see if i can at least get karma to play tug with me. We both could use the workout from it lol
That is very similar to what I have done. Since Kado is a family dog, I have taught him bite inhibition since he was a puppy. Luckily he likes fetch. So, I can incorporate that. I have also heard that when he does tug try not to be imposing or dominating. Below is a great video. I've heard to look away while they start tugging, and really let their bad habits fly at first.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
that's a great video!! I noticed i have been doing A LOT of things incorrectly. The tug i have is a shorter firehose tug.. does anyone know where i can get some of the tugs shown in this video?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,531 Posts
Thanks for the recommendation on the rags! Maybe I could find a similar material to his tug. It may make him want to bite harder on the tug. I know for a fact that he would love to tug on a rag (it would have no filling like the tug I have now).

I am thinking about getting him into sport, but I can't do this until I move in the summer. There are no clubs near the city I am in. In the meantime, I just want to develop his bite and hold on this new tug for obedience training purposes.
Since you want to take a shot at sport with him, I'd forget about that style of reward and play and the toys from that video. Tugging, retrieving, the bite and grip, the way the more IPO style of play and reward works towards them matters. They're all related in some way and judged in the sport.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top