I Made Tosca All Confused. I need to undo this.

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by ToscasMom, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Ok up until recently, I never played tug of war too much with Tosca because I read someplace where it wasn't a good idea. But after you guys told me it was ok, I started doing it. Mostly I had a large terrycloth towel that I knotted and we went at it together quite a bit. She loved it because she always wants to play Tug but I was never too cooperative.

    Ok. Boink. This morning it was raining cats and dogs out and I stepped in a Poodle. Ok, sorry. Tosca was in the yard and when she came in she was all wet. Soooooooooooo, I had a nice fresh towel to dry her with like i have always done. She loves being towel dried. Well not THIS time. THIS time, she wanted to play Tug. I had a horrible time and couldn't get her to stay still and savor being dried like she's always done. I got flustered. She got flustered. I kept demanding she leave the towel alone and kept trying to dry her. Finally, I gave up and she sensed I was very flustered so she went into a tailspin. She ran all around the house making her whine and other noises collies know how to make. She was running wild, chasing her tail, chasing the cats. Very flustered. It wasn't till several minutes into this that I realized I had confused her and she wanted to please me and didn't know WHAT THE FERSHTOONK I wanted her to do! I have never seen her so flustered. It was like MA! What? What did I do wrong! We played Tug with something like this yesterday and now you are mad! I felt awful for her.

    What I need to do is now undo what I created teach her all over again that towels are for drying. Obviously i blew it because the towel reminded her now of TUG. We are getting tons of rain and soon the wet snow will come, so towel drying will be a necessity. I had it going so well with her. And now, I undid it.

    So.........how do I undo this situation. Obviously, Tug with anything remotely resembling a towel is out of the question from now on, but how I am going to reprogram her?

    I could smack myself.
     
  2. bumhouse

    bumhouse New Member

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    SHE'S A COLLIE!!!!!

    Your baby is soooooo smart I think she will get it when you stop playing tug with the towel. I know this because I have made such a mistake:yikes: in the past and Colt had no problem reversing the course when we stopped playing with the item (mostly toys!!!:rolleyes: ). He is younger than Tosca too. Colt is always confused with us, hehehe, there are 5 of us and my mother-in-law has been here for a month....It's a good thing he is so highly intelligent, I think he is smarter than us and is actually training us in proper human behavior:lol-sign: !!!!!
     
  3. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Congratulations Bumhouse. You have been officially COLLIED!
     
  4. poodlesmom

    poodlesmom New Member

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    Poor Tosca!:) What I would do is go out and buy one of those rope toys made specifically for tug of war. When you want to play tug with her bring out both the towel & the toy but just keep the towel laying on your lap. If she tries to take the towel just say NO and entice her with the toy. I think after a few good play sessions she'll get the idea. When she goes out I would keep the toy handy where you usually dry her off. If she reaches for the towel quickly give her the toy and occasionally give it a little tug. I think she'll get the idea that the towel again is just to dry her off & the toy is for tugging.
     
  5. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Ok Poodlesmom! I get it and will get right on it!

    I know you're kind of laughing but I just HATE when she feels bad and it's really my fault. She burned at least 300 calories in that tantrum too!

    Hey Bumhouse, it feels good to know you did it too! heh.
     
  6. poodlesmom

    poodlesmom New Member

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    There is no way I would be laughing at you! Been there & done that myself years ago. :) Didn't realize what a bad idea it was to give a pup an old sock & old shoe to chew on. He didn't have any way of knowing good ones were off limits!;)
     
  7. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    HHHHAHAHAAAAAAHAHA!
     
  8. sam

    sam New Member

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    To me it's less about teaching the dog towels are never tug toys as much as it's establishing the rules of the game of tug. At our house the rules of tug are: 1) tug games only start when I hold out a toy and say "get it" we can tug for seconds or minutes wild and crazy or pretty sedately but 2) when I say "drop" they drop. Teaching a reliable drop on cue is a good thing BEFORE starting to play tug with your dog. A 'leave it' cue would be helpful in this case too.
     
  9. kidsanddogs

    kidsanddogs New Member

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    Tosca'sMom, I just wanted to tell you that Tosca is brilliant! Not only did she learn quite quickly that towels were for tugging, but when things changed on her, she devised a way to let you know that this was all wrong and that she was totally confused. And bravo for you that you received the message loud and clear!

    poodlesmom, your fix was perfect. Can't wait to hear how it worked!
     
  10. poodlesmom

    poodlesmom New Member

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    Sam brought up some very good points. Tosca is still a young pup and the time is right to start teaching her "leave it" & "drop" commands. In my house I also use the cue word "enough" and my 2 know whatever it is they are currently doing is to stop now - it could be barking, playing tug, wanting me to throw the toy again for the game of fetch or just playing too crazily for too long.
     
  11. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Actually she does know Leave It but falls off the wagon when she's really excited. She does great with food and foreign "things" she picks up though. She needs more work on it, but she's coming along. No way she was into Leave It this morning. She was far too confoozeled.
     
  12. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Oh heck! LOL. Lyric does that a little bit too. When you have four dogs and one of them is a Doberman, you need to have a sense of humor to survive and not get too riled up. LOL. I love how my dogs get silly and I love to play a little with them while I dry them off. I ruff 'em up and let them grab the end of the towel, then I grab it and ruff them up some more. It just makes for more good times associated with the dreaded bath. BUT....after a little silliness, I tell Lyric (he's the biggest) in a calm voice, "Enough.......stand/ stay." And "leave it" if I need to...if he persists for a couple more seconds while he settles down. (I've actually practiced going back and forth, from play to stand/stay, back to play and then stand/stay and so forth.) He can play tug with an old rag/towel and he can be dried off too with it. It's just a matter of teaching you dog to settle down and see the difference between your instigated tug of war game and your having had enough of it and the drying with a towel. If you're really serious about it all, don't do it my way. Do what the others said. LOL. Tug of war does need to be instigated by only you regardless of what toy you use. Make him wait till you give the word. Maybe you should vary the toys, from a rope to a rag to a stick so he doesn't make such a strong association with the towel for that purpose.
     
  13. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Yeah Towels are out. lol

    This wasn't play as in rubadub play. She was keeping me from drying her at all. I wasn't used to it. I wanted her to stop. I am used to calmly drying her off, roughly yes, but no TUG. So I was off guard too and she picked up on it. As I said, she knows things like Leave It but she's not an expert at it yet. She's seven months old and still wants to be a puppy sometimes. Our trainer told me more than once that I expect more from her than I should sometimes. She just finished a series of classes with others who went through basic obedience training like she did. The youngest dog there was a year old. Then there was Tosca and she did as well as any of them by the third class. So I really have to cut her some slack and let her Puppy herself sometimes and I forget. I think that's what set her off on the frustrated thing. She was such a puppy and I realized she just didn't get it and it was my job to show her without frustrating her. I mean she's over here right now quacking her duckie toys. She's a kid. I just forget sometimes. Shame on me.
     
  14. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Don't worry. She'll grow up and be an adult and before you know it, she'll be a senior. Let her be a puppy and don't take things too seriously. Dry her off the best you can and meanwhile she can be learning "stand stay" at other times when you're not trying to dry her off. You can practice with a small wash cloth so it's not as enticing...practice her stand stay to be brushed and wiped. She'll get it. A little puppy stuff is to be expected and wanted. You want her to develop her little personality too while at the same time she learns a little of this and a little of that. LOL.
     
  15. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Thank you Doberluv. I have to remind myself I am a very demanding person of myself. There is no reason why I should do the same to Tosca. She's so dang smart that it's VERY easy to forget her age! Honestly, I knew collies were smart but I never expected this! Anyways, I piddled most of the afternoon away with her, just Tosca and me. We went to a field she likes to go to romp. She forgave me five minutes after it was over. Forgiving myself took longer. lol.
     
  16. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Oh heck. It's not a big deal Toscasmom. We all get irritated by the little monsters sometimes. I'm glad you had a good afternoon. Dobermans are smart too. Lyric is so quick to learn things if I really buckle down and work on it. But he's so dang fun and such a goof ball, I let him get away with murder sometimes. It must be my inner child. LOL.:D
     
  17. bumhouse

    bumhouse New Member

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    You should bring her to my house!!!!!!

    Talk about frustrating your dog with mixed messages....but, really, Colt gets over things really quick and I'm sure Tosca does to - very forgiving.

    I have definitely been COLLIED! Love him like one of my children and, WOW, I NEVER thought my children would embrace him the way that they have. Brings tears to my eyes!! He is so eager to please. I can't believe how stressed I was in the beginning but as soon as I relaxed, BANG, he started to really develop and follow commands. He loves to play and be challenged but, of course, with so many of us, it can be confusing for the poor little guy. Now I put the Kids in the crate when things get out of hand:lol-sign: !!! I'll send a picture.....

    PS - I show him Toscas picture all the time - I think he's in LOVE........:cool:
     
  18. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    ROFL!


    Don't mention this to Hudson.
     
  19. Spiritus

    Spiritus New Member

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    See, in my mind it's a simple process of teaching the dog that rolled up towel means tug, but open towel means dry. You could work on this by playing tug with the play-towel, and then settling her and wiping her with the opened towel. Go back and forth and do this. She's just making too broad of a generalization and needs to learn the difference. Buying a rope toy won't necessarily "fix" the generalization - she could just revert to any rope is a tug toy, which could even generalize further to the leash....

    Teach her the difference, use a DIFFERENT command for leaving it - Leave It means don't touch that, maybe OUT can mean Leave the Tug Toy.
     
  20. rij73

    rij73 New Member

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    Yeah, Hudson says Colt better back off!!!

    Oh Tosca's Mom, you crack me up so much. It's so sweet how you felt so guilty about the whole thing. What a bright one Tosca is!!!

    I think Poodlemom's advice sounded perfect to me.

    Hudson is ALWAYS trying to initiate play around here. It's cute sometimes, and darned inconvenient at others. I just read the book called "My Smart Puppy". It just came out last month. It is absolutely wonderful, and I recommend it to everyone. Great advice in there on communicating effectively with your poochie.
     

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