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I use a small jute tug (1.5x10in) for a reward for obedience....does anyone else? Berlin seems to prefer the smaller tug, he goes nuts for it, and now is refusing the regular sized tugs. Great for us, I enjoy seeing this 'toy drive', but my poor fingers when he misses :( Hope it'll help his accuracy?

He also has a preference for jute. I have bought him 3x12in jute and french linen tugs, a 2x10 inch french linen, and then the tiny jute tug. So frustrating that he prefers jute now since we started at the club. He has zero interest in the any of french linen ones now...

Should I even attempt to buy a tiny french linen one? Is there any way to make him not care what material it is? What about leather? Anyone use a tiny leather one? Do they hold up? He has a good bite, he puts holes in the tugs with each bite, and his grip is strong, I worry the leather wont hold up..but what do I know! :D
 

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Use what he likes, though that may change! I change up toys often...the elite ball was one of Karlo's least favorites, now he loves them.
Leather tugs get slimy fast, and don't dry out as easy as the jute or synthetic.
I like having a variety of reward toys, and many times use two different ones during a training session.
 

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What you use depends on how you train. I try to use the toy as a way to engage the dog with me, or as a way to help release pressure if I'm using pressure as part of the training session, but I try to avoid the dog working FOR the toy (ie, not luring with it). So for me, the toy does not matter. I can pick up a stick, an old rag, or a chewed chunk of garden hose and they will all work. However my dog is not picky because he's working mostly for me, not the specific toy. I generally don't use tugs just because mine are all on the bigger side and they get stinky and slimy. I normally use some sort of ball so I can keep it tucked in a pocket or just hold it in my left hand and it's not distracting the dog. Since Nikon likes to play tug and fetch, a ball on a string easily serves both purposes. The tugs that I do have are French linen and suede, I don't like firehose or jute.
 

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Doesn't matter much what you use, just please remember the dog must respect the handler's body and clothing :)

I never allow the dog to chew up my hands. He needs to learn targeting from the beginning and he needs to be mindful of your clothes, and body. He should learn this as part of his fundamentals and learning how to play with you.

Speak to your TD or other members so they can explain how to correct biting your hands.

I use a tiny tug sometimes, but even when I use a large tug I only give a few inches as a target (holding the tug itself not the attached handle) so it does not matter to the dog.

But in general use what the dog likes :) My dog doesn't get as excited about ball on rope as he does for tug so that's what we use. He gets really fired up for soccer balls so we save that for *special occasions* since its like crack to him.

As for material, you really have to experiment. My dog loves jute, likes french linen, but hates leather. Leather is also harder to grip and make slips if he doesnt grip hard, so that can be used for certain things.
 

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I have a little suede tug, probably about 6" long or so with a nylon strap handle, and also a flat hemp tug that's about 12". Discoe goes nuts for both of these, far moreso than she has for any ball or food, so these are what we use for obedience.
While we occasionally have instances where she'll clip my hand on the reward because she's so eager to play, I've found that working on targeting with the tug as its own separate exercise has definitely helped.
The hemp tug seems to have held up the best. I bought it going-on three years ago and it's showing no signs of unraveling, unlike my suede which is already starting to rip at the handle, and has a couple of tooth puncture marks in it. The hemp tug is also long enough where I can either hold it at both ends with enough space inbetween to minimize the chance of getting chomped, or swing it to her without getting chomped. It also may be close enough to jute where your boy might like it :)

ECO-TUGGER
 

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I use a small jute tug (1.5x10in) for a reward for obedience....does anyone else?
I use this in agility; throw it in front of the tunnel just before he comes out, use it to get speed in weaving. He is crazy about it. I don't use it for regular and casual play to keep him motivated for it.
Sometimes I fear for my hands. I will tie a longer strap on it so he won't take off with my hand. So far he hasn't touch me yet.
 

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While we were working on targeting I found leather work gloves were my best friend. Kept my fingers safe.

Gaia has 0 interest in a tug if she knows I have a ball hidden on me, I find them easier to work with anyway. We have a longer jute tug, maybe the small one would work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies! I have been using whatever he prefers in that given week, since it always changes lately. Berlin loves the elite ball too, a little TOO much, I have some gappay ones, and he prefers the elitek9 one over the gappay ones and if I use elite ball, or any ball on a string, he does not care about anything else. I can stick hot dog right next to his nose and he will not look away from the ball. So.....the ball is the best tool I have right now, but sometimes he's a little crazy with it. We have been working on playing two ball, but he still sometimes doesn't like to let go of certain balls. I ordered like 4 gappay ones, they are ALL the same, and we've been having more luck with that now.. He jumps up for them too (and I dont encourage this by any means, he does it randomly out of nowhere sometimes), I swear he's gonna break something! One time I thought he did, he couldnt walk on his front paw and was SCREAMING. I laid him on me, and a few mins later...he gets up like nothing happened. :rolleyes:

I have heard of the leather getting slimy...yuck, guess I'll pass on a leather tug for now, and stick with the jute ones.


I dont use any of the balls on strings or tugs for normal casual play. They *only* come out for training.

Lies, I like the way you use the tugs for training. I eventually want to be using them like that, but for now, I am trying to just build drive, and make everything about them fun, and teach him the proper ways to play, so that I can start incorporating them into schutzhund obedience training. I like the small jute tug I have, because its way easier to use and carry with me than the larger tugs, and I can mix things up for him and keep it interesting. He *loves* to tug, especially on those balls with string, but those hurt my fingers after a while! haha. I need to invest in some gloves.

ayoitzrimz, he respects my clothes/hands etc. He doesnt intentionally bite me, its more of an accident when hes going for the tiny tug or ball, and he gets my hand instead. I think I just need to practice some targeting with him, because I have not done that at all with him.

Discoetheque, thanks for the link, I may have to try that kind of material!
 
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