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Discussion Starter #1
What do you guys recommend as far as material and size? I've been avoiding tugs because of teething. Pup is 5 months old and seems to have his adult teeth. Although some are still growing.
 

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I don't know if this is the type of toy you are asking about, I think you might mean for bite work. There is nothing my pup wont do for his chuck it kick ball! I can play with my feet, or fetch, we run around while i try to tap it out of his mouth or pull it and he loves to play tug with it to. If you play tug with it one handed he loves it cause he knows my grip is poor lol. We have invented some fun games with it and he gets all pumped up. I get a super fast down if i have that ball in my hand. Wish i knew how to make that happen without the ball. I'd say it is both of our favorite you. HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not necessarily bite work apex but as a reward. His obedience is coming along pretty well but I want to start using tugs as opposed to treats, which I use sparingly as is.
 

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I started with a rag, then firehose. 10". Then I went to jute rolls. I now use jute balls from elite k9 .
did you have any problem with the firehose tearing apart? They seem to be easy to find online but I wasn't sure how durable they'd be
 

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We've rolled a towel up and tied it with hair ties for our four month old, she plays with it all day and night, most often on her own n with it. On the odd occasion she'll bring it towards us to play with her, but most of the time she just loves tossing it up in the air and knawing on it. Hope this helps. :)
 

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I use a large size kong with a rope tied through it. The kong is the greatest dog toy ever made. While I have tugs with handles, I find the Kong to be the best reward for my dogs.
 

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I use a large size kong with a rope tied through it. The kong is the greatest dog toy ever made. While I have tugs with handles, I find the Kong to be the best reward for my dogs.
I found that using a tug as a reward was easier. Helped him target better. When I used a ball on a rope, he'd bite the rope.
 

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Any softer, stuffed tug is going to tear at some point, so once my dog is outing clean and re-biting hard I quit using those except for this rubber one:
Stick / Twig | RuffDawg

I use these all the time, but I cut the handles off. One of the things I like about both of them is that they slide easily into my back pocket:

Dog Tug Toy - Flat Rolled Leather | All K-9

Your dog has to bite hard to keep that rolled leather, so you may not want to use that at first, but they last. I've had 2 of them for a few years now.
 

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Are you training for bitework or just using tug as a reward in general? If you are doing bitework, don't do like I did and make a plastic toy their favorite tug. My she-dog doesn't enjoy a fabric tug and prefers plastic toys. This is fine if I use a ball on a rope but if she needed to work a bite sleeve it might be a problem.

Otherwise you'll just have to experiment until you find something you both agree with. For my she-dog I put the ball on a rope in a back pocket. For our big boy we have a two handled 6 inch jute tug that fits behind our back.

If you use a tug try to find one you can get both hands on. The more you can control the tug the better your pup can target, the less likely you'll get nipped.

If you want to use a toy on a rope consider having two. That way you can work your "outs" by swapping between toys. When pup lets go of one, you offer the second. That way letting go of the prize is still fun.
 

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We've rolled a towel up and tied it with hair ties for our four month old, she plays with it all day and night, most often on her own n with it. On the odd occasion she'll bring it towards us to play with her, but most of the time she just loves tossing it up in the air and knawing on it. Hope this helps. :)
You don't want to leave her alone with something like that Kalie. At some point most dogs are going to zero in on the seems or the hair ties and they can eat them and get a blockage. I'd even worry about the unraveling of the material. My rule of thumb is if they can't safely eat it, they don't get to chew on it.
 

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I found that using a tug as a reward was easier. Helped him target better. When I used a ball on a rope, he'd bite the rope.
Maybe not always, but I know most of the time when Doc gets the rope its because the subtle way the ball is moving.
 

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Ball on a rope - Petsport USA Fling Thing Tennis Ball With Rope I got a 3 pack for $14 ish so look around but this has held up very well.

Two handle tug - French Linen Dog Tug Toy (3" x 10") 2 Handles RedLine K9 This has also held up well but she bites, tugs a bit then outs, so she's not left with it to find the seams and such.

If you're trying to develop for bitework, on my IPO trainers recommendation I loop a cheap Dollartree leash through the handle to give my pup a little more space. Reduces the dominant position of her still being young (6 months) and me towering over her, helps her build confidence and not be concerned about my presence till I give a command (getting aggressive in the pack leaders face).

That's a big part of why I like the ball on a rope (besides how far you can throw it with minimal effort), lets me play fetch and a bit of tug with some space. But with the ball on a rope I like to get down on her level extend my arm out and turn slightly away to maximize our distance.

I'm not sure any of the above matters with your dog though, I'm just trying to maximize intensity/aggression/drive during the game. And thus build her confidence and help her maintain some possessiveness for the dumbell retrieve.

Man I'm all over the place with different training objectives and purposes, hope most of that made sense LOL

ETA: Slamdunk's suggestion of a kong on the end of knotted rope is a FANTASTIC idea. Definitely going to do that once my current toys wear out
 

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You don't want to leave her alone with something like that Kalie. At some point most dogs are going to zero in on the seems or the hair ties and they can eat them and get a blockage. I'd even worry about the unraveling of the material. My rule of thumb is if they can't safely eat it, they don't get to chew on it.
Thank you for your advice. We don't usually let her have it unless her teeth are playing up, so we're there watching her play with it. We have rope toys and Kong's for her too, which we put in the freezer to cool them down, which seem to work a treat.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Let me start by thanking each of you for your contributions. One of the topics I see brought up is whether I'm training for bitework, and the answer is not exactly. At this time I don't feel I'm qualified so I'll leave that to the trainer and do whatever he says at home. Right now I'm just using it for motivation/reward. I like the idea of the balls/kongs because he goes nuts for them but a lot of the videos I see people use tugs. Also it's not something he'd have access to at all times. In fact the only time he has toys is when I play with him.

I like the idea slam had for the rope on the kong and I will try that in the morning because I have all the stuff for it.

But for those of you who mentioned targeting and creating intensity and possessiveness with the tugs do you mind to explain it a bit further? I have no experience training in bite work and don't want to mess anything up.
 

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Finn likes the lg size Kong Squeek ball.

So for tug, I stuff a kong ball inside a knee sock, tie a knot...and use it for tug.
Good to use for fetch too cuz I can throw it really far.

Ps. There's some really good info on the web re playing tug with your dog. Inc safety tips.
 

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But for those of you who mentioned targeting and creating intensity and possessiveness with the tugs do you mind to explain it a bit further? I have no experience training in bite work and don't want to mess anything up.
this gal is very generous with her tips. She gives great advice for free but also sells video training tips. She does sports but her ideas also apply to well trained pets. Articles | The Collared Scholar

To build possessiveness means that the toy is important to them. The dog will work harder to get the reward. They'll pay more attention to you because they want to play with the toy with you, pay for their work. No tug will work if the dog doesn't care or thinks "why bother, I never win".

Targeting means they know where to bite the tug, not your hand.
 
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