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maybe time to buy a new tug, let the dog choose one. gsd get very quickly bored imo.
I agree.. Come up with a few different games, toys etc

My guys fav game is chase or keep away. I give him a toy and pretend I really really want it then chase after him trying to get it. Burns a ton of energy for him too
 

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One thing I learn about tugging thru my agility classes is - try different styles/types of tug toys and see which one the dog is most interested in. Many dogs will go for tug toys made of real fur, it seems to simulate a prey or turns on the drive more easily. My dogs tug but the fur always get them super happy. You can also try a flirt pole to see if that will get him going as a start.
 

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Hi guys,

I'm losing patience with my dog. I feel I am trying my hardest to play tug with him. I am jumping around and trying to make the tug look interesting. I feel he knows what I want. He takes the tug from me sometimes, but does this very softly. I could take it out of his mouth by pulling easily. I have been trying to get him to tug for a couple months now and its exhausting. He just kind of mouths the tug and loses interest. If I let him do what he wants, he would just sniff around and mark everywhere.

He definitely has a bunch of energy. His protection instincts are pretty high. His prey drive seems to be high too. Sometimes I use a jute shammee on a flirt pole. He chases it like crazy, and he bites hard. We play tug a little harder with the shammee, but he's really not tugging too hard. The thing that bothers me most is that if he doesn't get enough energy out of his system, then he just paces around my apartment whining. I am more than ready to play with the him for a couple hours a day. It just isn't interesting for me to walk around while he sniffs and marks.

Did anyone else have this problem? I am looking on the internet and every article is about how good tug is for building a relationship. I really just want a great relationship with my dog. But when he acts so uninterested I lose patience and quit playing and end his time outside. My dog is 16 months and I'm wondering if he's going through his "rebellious" stage. We are currently enrolled in our second obedience class. He knows many commands and is one of the best in class. The class is helping him not to fixate on other dogs and focus on me. With time will this pass? I just get frustrated because I'm trying so hard to play with him and I just want a little enthusiasm out of him.
 

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Couple of other thoughts, which you touched on, but why tug? I mean, if you dog loves the ball on a rope, give him a ball on a rope! I understand the facsination with the tug, it's my favorite and same with my dog. You know what he won't work for though? ball on a rope! Let you in on another secret, my dog has the lowest food drive I've EVER seen in a GSD. Does he like food? yup. Does he wolf dinner down? Nope. Treats? Great for a minute, but doesn't WANT them. And I've been through all. Cheese, hot dogs, hamburger, stellas, etc. Just not his scene. Bring out the tug? Dog will walk over hot coals for it. Why? b/c that is his JAM. I can say the same though for treats, nero balls, frisbees, etc. It's all about what your dog wants.

That being said.....

Here's what I've seen work w/driving tug desire:

Bullfit Dog Tug. NOT ON BUNGEE. Make it come alive! Hit your leg, hit the ground, move it around. But not like a crazy person at first! make it seem scared, vulnerable, easy to kill. Trying to excite that prey drive in your dog and make them feel like the tug is theirs! Let your pup get the tug. DO NOT LOOK THEM IN THE EYE. That is you exuding power. You want to be small, weak, fragile, etc. Dog has the power at this point. When the dog takes the tug, with the back of your hand, slowly hit the tug and say "get away from me!" while falling backwards. You are building their confidence at this point. Think like a wild animal here. Get Away is so much fun for them. They get to feel BIG. After awhile, (maybe one session, maybe many, each dog is different), your pup will start bringing you the tug and hitting you with it. You don't want to encourage that behavior b/c that is butthead pushyness. But it shows confidence. So now the dog is ready to use the tug as both a reward and training tool.

Other thought on saying he doesn't want to work. Easy to fix. It's a drive issue. First, find what the dog loves. That will be the reward. Second, crate the dog. As soon as you are ready to "work", get the dog out of the crate. Play, work, etc. At PEAK drive, as in, the dog is focused on you, can't wait to do something next. PUT THE DOG IN THE CRATE. It will be so hard to do b/c you feel like you have something awesome going on. and you do!

Wait ~15 minutes. Get the dog out of the crate and work/play again! same thing though, crate at PEAK drive. You are building drive in this. I recommend the book Training in Drive. Regardless if you are doing sport or not, GREAT discussions in there around food/prey drive and getting your dog excited about YOU.

Last thought. If your dog doesn't like the tug, who cares?! Find what they love and just accept it. I would love if I could train with treats. Makes life so much easier. But if I was stuck on that, we would never have fun. Do you and don't get hung up on perfect toys. It's supposed to be fun!
 

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Oh, one other thought. The MINUTE your dog loses interest in you, turn your back on him. It will drive him crazy. Don't chase, just turn your back and WALK AWAY. Then crate him. They will learn REAL fast that if you aren't the center of the world, fun time is OVER. It's not mean, it's good dog training. And they will love you more for it.
 

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Your dog wants stimulation and wants to learn. You have an intelligent working dog, it may also want to work. Labs will typically like play time but GSD’s not as much
 
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