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Discussion Starter #1
I have had this issue with her since she was little and I still havent found a solution. I thought maybe someone might have some advice on what I can do to help.
When we are playing tug, her grip on the rope isnt right, it starts to slip, or she wants to change position,and she will jump up and grab the rope higher and sometimes she will grab my hand. She will let go once she feels that she has my hand but those teeth are really sharp and I end up with scrapes, scratches and sometimes a bruise.
When I start I will tell her to sit and hold the tug out to her and say "easy" she is really good at taking the tug easy, but in the middle of the tug session she will just do this and it happens so fast that I dont have a chance to tell her "easy". I bought the longest rope at the pet store.
Is there something I can do to help save my hands?:confused:
 

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For me, tugging is supposed to be fun, building drive and having the dog tug that toy to win it. Telling him easy would be counter-productive to why we are playing the game. And countering is very important...you want the dog to have the toy deep so the bite/grip is solid. Let the dog counter to adjust the bite with tension on the toy, but don't yank it away when the dog is adjusting the grip.

If your dog is young, teething then please wait until all the adult teeth are in.

For a younger pup that hasn't started teething you can still play the game, just adjust your tension gently and let pup win often/prance around before you lift her off to start it over again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No shes almost 2.
I taught her "easy" because when she was a pup she would get over excited when she would see me get her toys out and she would grab at the toy and bite my hand.
So I dont expect her to tug easy. Just take the toy from my hand easy. I let her get a deep grip on the toy but for some reason she wont just tug she wants to keep "regripping" if that makes sense.
 

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So are you tugging with her? I don't understand, 'take the toy easy' in the context of tug. Maybe get a better toy so she can target easier? Ball on string, or a two handle tug works better for me than the fleece braided rope toys, especially when the dog counters.
 

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What are you using? Those ropes from the pet store are the worst tugs I think. None of my dogs like them, even my GSDs that came out of the womb tugging!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes I am using the braided rope. Maybe that is one of my issues. I guess I am not explaining things so that it is understandable.
From the start of the tug play...
I get the rope out. I call the dog over and ask her to sit. I hold the rope out to her and say "easy". I taught her to easily take things from my hand as a puppy, if i didnt she would get over excited and grab my hand and bite me, so the "easy" command is just used in the start for when she first takes the tug from my hand. I then let her get a good grip on the toy, and we start playing tug. When she starts to tug, instead of just keeping the grip and tugging she likes to kinda readjust her grip constantly and as she adjusts she will grab further up on the tug toy and grab my hand by accident. Its like she wont stay on her side of the tug. I really dont know how to explain it any diffrent. Am I being anymore clear? sorry for the bad discription.
What would be a better toy to use?
 

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Gappay Synthetic 2 handle tug 5x25cm


or a ball: Hallmark K9 - Premium Dog Training Equipment - BALLS
When I play tug, I tease my dog up, make him try to grab it, but don't let him get it until he misses a few times, when he finally gets it, then we tug, tug, tug! Either I out him(by asking for out or holding him by his collar) or let him win. If I out him, he gets rewarded immediately/ "yes" with more game on.
Or I tease him up and put the toy in my arm pit and we start fussing away.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Gappay Synthetic 2 handle tug 5x25cm


or a ball: Hallmark K9 - Premium Dog Training Equipment - BALLS
When I play tug, I tease my dog up, make him try to grab it, but don't let him get it until he misses a few times, when he finally gets it, then we tug, tug, tug! Either I out him(by asking for out or holding him by his collar) or let him win. If I out him, he gets rewarded immediately/ "yes" with more game on.
Or I tease him up and put the toy in my arm pit and we start fussing away.
So when you tease him like that, he doesnt grab your hand by accident? If I tease Lily like that she would grab at my hand and not the toy. How you do keep him from grabbing your hand instead of the toy? Anytime I have tried this its like she has bad aim, or good, depending on what she is actually after. lol Because she will grab my hand. Or if I teased her with the toy and put it under my arm she would jump up and bite at my arm. Because she would be so excited. She is so well trained in other areas but with this I have just struggled.
 

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Correct her with a collar pop. She's old enough to be corrected and should have enough bite inhibition to control her target area. If she gets away with biting you, she'll keep it up to get to the toy.
I was at training tonight and a dog with over the top ball drive never once bit his handler, even though that ball was right next to her when she outed and then rewarded him. I'm sure she's been tagged by him now and then, but it is never because he's being pushy, more because the timing was off.
If your dog is doing it in a pushy way, she deserves a correction....and game over for that session.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
She is my first dog so maybe I just dont know how to play tug the right way. :confused:I would think it was a simple concept but I have never heard anyone else complain of getting bitten while playing tug.:(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Correct her with a collar pop. She's old enough to be corrected and should have enough bite inhibition to control her target area. If she gets away with biting you, she'll keep it up to get to the toy.
I was at training tonight and a dog with over the top ball drive never once bit his handler, even though that ball was right next to her when she outed and then rewarded him. I'm sure she's been tagged by him now and then, but it is never because he's being pushy, more because the timing was off.
If your dog is doing it in a pushy way, she deserves a correction....and game over for that session.
Thank you. :) That sounds like a very simple fix. I mean I would correct her if she was jumping on someone or pulling on a lead, but I never thought to do it that way. So collar pop and then put the toy up? Game over? Yes you described it correctly its like she is pushy about it. I didnt know how to describe it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
yep see thats how I want to be able to play tug with her. I will get a proper tug and work on the collar corrections. I think you are right, its a simple fix, I wasnt thinking it through. I would hold both ends of the rope and try to get her to grab the middle and she would start there but very quickly go for my hand. Thank you for all your help.
 

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She is my first dog so maybe I just dont know how to play tug the right way. :confused:I would think it was a simple concept
I was in a similar boat (I wasn't getting the drive out of the game that I wanted), so I watched a ton of Michael Ellis videos, including the one that onyx'girl just linked and his DVD "The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog" and it made a world of difference. There really is a method to doing it that didn't come naturally to me as a beginner, like immobilizing the tug and only having it come alive when the dog grips in the "right" spot, how to set up the target properly, making the tug "jump" once it's in the dog's mouth to simulate prey, etc. ME clearly does a much better job of explaining, so check him out!
 

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Thank you. :) That sounds like a very simple fix. I mean I would correct her if she was jumping on someone or pulling on a lead, but I never thought to do it that way. So collar pop and then put the toy up? Game over? Yes you described it correctly its like she is pushy about it. I didnt know how to describe it.
I like to end sessions on a learning or positive note, so try to set the dog up for success before ending, especially if ending is in a negative mode, best to move into easy endings.
So correct for the bad and move on quick....make it very, very easy for the dog to succeed in whatever you were working on, even if you are back stepping a bit, and then put the dog up for a bit to process what was going on.
Ending a training session in a good way is going to carry over next time,even if progress isn't what you wanted it to be.
 

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Yes I am using the braided rope. Maybe that is one of my issues. I guess I am not explaining things so that it is understandable.
From the start of the tug play...
I get the rope out. I call the dog over and ask her to sit. I hold the rope out to her and say "easy". I taught her to easily take things from my hand as a puppy, if i didnt she would get over excited and grab my hand and bite me, so the "easy" command is just used in the start for when she first takes the tug from my hand. I then let her get a good grip on the toy, and we start playing tug. When she starts to tug, instead of just keeping the grip and tugging she likes to kinda readjust her grip constantly and as she adjusts she will grab further up on the tug toy and grab my hand by accident. Its like she wont stay on her side of the tug. I really dont know how to explain it any diffrent. Am I being anymore clear? sorry for the bad discription.
What would be a better toy to use?
I think I know what you mean. I do flyball and almost everyone uses tug toys, so I've probably seen hundreds of dogs using as many different variations of a tug toy. A lot of dogs don't naturally target and/or don't naturally take a full grip and maintain that grip. One of the dogs on our team targets up high and sometimes bites the hand.

First, yes I would get a different toy. Like I said my dogs don't like tugging on those ropes and they will tug pretty much anything. My favorite tug toys are French linen (like Jane posted) or an old dish towel or suede rag.

Some dogs will get chewy if they aren't really tugging. It almost sounds like you are asking for way too much control. Tug isn't really gentle. I find if I tug back, my dogs tug harder with a better grip. If I'm just dangling a tug, they will bite at it or chew on it. Of course you don't want to try to rip the tug from the dog, but there does need to be some pressure, make the dog work at it.

If I'm dragging a toy around, getting my dog to chase it, and then let him grab it and the grip is not good, I relax on the toy a bit so the dog can "fill up" the grip and get a firm hold before I'm tugging back.

If the dog is targeting my hand instead of the tug, I'll back tie the dog so I have more control and just work on targeting, only offering a small part of the toy or rag for the dog to grab and not letting out more until the dog is targeting the toy. If the dog does bite my hand, I just go "dead" (I stop moving and I drop the toy). Sometimes I also need to back tie the dog and kick the toy around for a minute to get the dog focused on the toy and not my hand.
 
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