Tug of war makes your dogs mean!

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by dogsarebetter, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I have played tug with every dog I've owned that would play and I have never seen any issues arise out of it. Tug by itself isn't going to do any harm to a dog, jmo.
     
  2. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    well, tugging did harm tonight.

    I hurt my wrist! I really shouldnt be tugging as much for my own health. I am just 23 and I have carpel tunnel (dog groomers curse perhaps? VERY common in groomers!)
    I havent seen a doctor to know for sure, but i just know what that is what it is. Looked online, and I know about 5 people with carpel tunnel! three of them also being groomers.

    I will have to teach hubby the rules of tug and give myself a break.
     
  3. BullMastiffMama

    BullMastiffMama Will Work for Kibble

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    I was never particularly pro/anti tugging. I think most dogs are absolutely fine with it. We attempted tug after getting Capone for a confidence-building exercise. He was such a wuss, always cowering.

    Capone never did get the hang of tug games... kind of just lets it go. Every once in a while, you get a half-hearted yank... but more often than not, he'll go belly-up or try to engage you in another type of play.

    On the other hand, Maddie (or Fattie Maddie, as I like to call her) a friend's Golden, absolutely adores tugging and makes the most obscene noises. (No soft mouth there) But "that's enough" is all it takes to get her to drop her rope like it's on fire.
     
  4. DanL

    DanL Active Member

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    My dogs love tug. Even Bruzer though he'll only play when the others are not around. He used to play with Gunnar when Gunnar was little. It's one of our main rewards when we do obedience with Gunnar. It's also a great tool for helping a young working or sport dog learn how to bite full.

    As has been said a million times, you have to set the boundries and make the dog play by the rules. It's not hard to do.
     
  5. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    I really don't see why it is such a big deal to wait until they are a bit older and at least not do this the first 8-10 weeks. I still wouldn't..nor would i let any family member. 3-5 months old...great time to introduce, but not wee small.
     
  6. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    But you can start it at that age.. I don't know how you could stop them really.. unless you kept pups in a pretty sterile environment with no toys...
     
  7. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Why don't you like to let them tug?
     
  8. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Actually no, it is because I do a lot of dog sports and we see people whipping their dogs around all the time. It is highly recommended by vets/chiropractors that tugging shouldn't be done that way.

    It is such a concern that there have been articles in Clean Run on the subject, plus I have attended several seminars where it has been discussed.
     
  9. mom2dogs

    mom2dogs New Member

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    Was just checking ;)
     
  10. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    But smkie, the most informative time in a puppies life is between 6 wks (or younger) to 4 1/2 months old. It is also the time that most puppies learn bite inhibition. I have 5 pups at this time, they'll take a toy, all hang on and tug like crazy, other than it is cute to watch on a behavioural stand point it tells me a bunch about my pups. They have been tugging for over 3 weeks now with each other during play, they can get very excited and they teach each other to smarten up when a mistake is made. Now when we play with a pup at this time with a toy, why shouldn't we continue with the same lessons? So the pups also learn to be careful, they learn that the rules are the same if not higher when playing with people.
     
  11. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I agree. In fact, from 3-4 weeks, a puppy begins the most critical social development period of his life. He learns social interaction with his littermates, learns how to play and learns bite inhibition. He'll also learn discipline at this point. This critical period lasts until around 3 - 4 months of age. We pick up where the Mom and litter mates left off when we typically get a new pup...around 8 or 10 weeks. But we better hope the previous owners or breeder introduced our pup to some of these lessons and gave plenty of human social feed back. If you wait until after that critical window for these social lessons and exposures, it's much more difficult for them. That critical, socialization period is.....well....critical. :D Again, tug is a game.The feed back they get from us from our rules is just part of the game and one more way to interact with our pups in a perfectly healthy way.

    If I had a litter of pups, I wouldn't wait to interact with them this way. I would be careful not to frighten them or over whelm them with loud, boistrous stimuli, but I definitely wouldn't wait to introduce them to things that give me an opportunity to give the dog feed back so he can keep learning and applying the same lessons he gets from his litter mates to humans. I think too, that domestication and our probable convergent evolution assists with this. In other words, I think that dogs' ability to understand a lot of human signals comes into play at a very early age.
     
  12. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    To me it would be saying, even though we're "roughhousing" you're still not allowed to bite me or jump on me. Avoiding high energy games isn't going to help with that.

    Just a warning though. If you adopt a 40lb dog in a February cold snap and play tug with 2 shirts and carhartt overalls on, do not be surprised when tug suddenly hurts when it warms up. Buster was hitting the carhartt sleeve and it just never registered with me what was going on because it was so muted. Really had to work on that no biting the arm thing come spring.
     
  13. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Excellent post Carrie as usual :hail:

    Tugging with young puppies is such a small part of what a good breeder does with their pups. It isn't all cuddling and holding.
    I don't force wean, I want my momma dog to spend as much time with her pups as possible, she will teach them more than any person ever could. I want my momma's to play with them and to play with toys/tugging with them. They are gentle when playing tug with the pups but oh boy do the pups also learn some rules there too!

    I test my litters all the time, I put 4 bully sticks in with 5 pups. I want to see if there is any serious resourse guarding. With this litter like the rest of my dogs, they'll share. They also steal with no fights lol, or they wait politely for their turn. And of course, they are also taught at this tender age to give up anything or everything that a pup has for a bigger reward.

    The pups are also going for walks one on one with me at this time, with their dinner/breakfast with me, teaching recalls and paying attention to where I am going is also critical. Then we start to work on the next step, two pups, recalls, first pup to me eats first, while the second one learns to wait politely.

    So I got rambling again.........
     
  14. corgi_love

    corgi_love New Member

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    I remember posting this topic back when I got Kyrie!!

    I had never heard of this before either, but when I picked Kyrie up her breeder gave me a document and a talk about never playing tug-of-war because it caused aggression! I was so confused!

    I've done it with Regis since we got him and he's never so much as growled at me before(unless he's playing of course and getting really into it, LOL)!
     
  15. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    All I know is i have never been a real fan of tug, never really engaged in it except in a very polite way and have dogs that have been and always are exceedingly gentle. My dogs play tug with stuffies and don't rip them..I just hear what my old boss said in my head..he was right about so many things that I follow what he taught me.

    The first time I ever saw anyone do that was my ex. I begged him not to and he told me i was being rediculous. I to this day have never seen a crazier dog that was not gentle and when he played went much too far.
     
  16. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    With Goldens having a soft mouth , I've never encouraged it .
     
  17. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    People reward with tugs all the time with Goldens for agility and flyball. Correct me if I am wrong but a *soft mouth* pretains to hunting and field trials. In that case I can see someone not wanting to tug with their dogs, however I also believe that dogs are smarter than that and could be trained to do know the difference and do both.

    It is absolutely a myth that tugging causes aggression and sadly too many people still believe it. I too was told many years ago that it caused aggression and then again I was also told to alpha roll my dogs as well .............
     
  18. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    We tugged with our lab who I'll add was also a hunting dog and expected to retrieve birds without mangling them and he did just that.

    I've tugged with every dog I've owned... Lab, shepherd/golden, shelties, paps... I honestly had never thought about tug at all before being on this forum. Everyone I think I've known that had dogs has played tug with their dogs and I don't think I've ever known a dog to have problems with it. And most people that I know with dogs are not that dog savvy either. I am just really not inclined to think the game itself is a problem for the vast majority of dogs and owners.

    My dogs have a bite and release command for the toys. I actually was told I shouldn't train them to bite a toy. I guess I should have used the command 'tug' instead of 'bite'. It horrified my grandmother that if I say 'bite' my dogs (sans Summer) will charge a toy and latch on. I am not sure why it's seen as a problem. :confused: I say 'drop it' and they immediately release. It's not like teaching them to bite and play with a toy teaches them to bite people....
     
  19. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    THe whippets LOVE tug and you will never meet sweeter or more gentle dogs. They never destroy toys either.

    Kadien never would play tug and did want to destroy toys.. so I don't think there is a correlation.

    MP's cockers play tug like fiends (you should here Cider, she sounds like she is possessed!!) but they don't destroy stuffies either. And they are both very gentle and well mannered dogs.

    Most agility people I know all tug with their dogs. I see just as many dogs who are gentle or not as I do in any other dog sport community. I really don't think tug changes a dog's internal nature. Its merely a co operative game that many dogs love that can be used as a reward when training, or just bonding with your dog. If you don't chose to do it.. fine, but I think the 1000's of people out there with dogs who tug like fiends and are fine should point out that its as natural a behaviour to many dogs as chasing is.
     
  20. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Yeah my paps have really sweet, easygoing natures too. I've never seen any of them so much as growl at anyone in all the years I've had them. Nard is the biggest tugger here and he is the most gentle dog I've ever been around. He will go nuts for the tug toy yet he is fine playing fetch with a 1 year old by nosing the ball back to her. It was adorable!
     

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