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"Proper" way to play Tug of War???

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  • "Proper" way to play Tug of War???

    Just wondering. We stopped years ago when hearing that tug of war can be bad if you let your dog "win" blah blah blah... More recently I read some posts saying if you start and stop correctly, there is no issue.

    Advice?
    -Lisa (Zoomer's mom)

  • #2
    Tug is a phenomenal game to play with your dog! Such a great way to bond, teach impulse control and train while having fun.

    Rules...well honestly the main rule is really they cant be rude about it. I do have a rule of if they dont drop when I ask, game ends (just for a second if its first offense or still learning of course), if they start lunging before I give the ok, again, game pauses or ends, and thats about it. I let them when sometimes, I win sometimes.

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    • #3
      I've read a lot about this, and I've found pretty much the same thing Greenmagick is saying.

      Apollo gets extremely obnoxious when we play tug, so we do it outside only. He's still learning the 'no running/play time in the apartment' rule (for our downstairs neighbors sake), so there is absolutely NO roughhousing inside, ever for us.

      When we play, it's usually because he is tossing around his tuggy in the house, and he needs to burn off some energy. We always begin with the 'watch' command (which is new, and we are working on), to the 'sit' position with a good firm 'stay.' When I am ready, and say 'ok', he is allowed to do anything he feels is necessary (aside from jumping and lunging) to get the tuggy. I always let him get a good grip, and the fun begins! I usually win (he loses his grip after a minute or two), but lately, I've been trying to encourage him to try and win, so I let up and give it to him about every other time. He is usually pretty polite about it, and lets me grab a hold of the other end when I let him win, but when he's a jerk and takes off with it, game ends, and we go inside. We also turn it into a training opportunity, and I'll ask him to 'drop it' and 'leave it', then the process starts over with the 'watch,' 'sit', 'stay', fun. If he decides to be a jerk and get obnoxious, we go inside. If he's polite and listens, we go on for as long as he is polite. I LOVE teaching him manners this way; makes things fun, and life easy. Plus, now that he's over 100lbs (I think), it's one hell of a work out!
      -- Katelyn

      sigpic
      Apollo

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      • #4
        Titan is WICKED strong.... I mean he pulls me around the house on my belly strong... any how


        he wants to play tug and he brings me the toy and sets it in my lap, I ask tug? he barks to let me know yes... we start out fairly easy, then I tell him okay and well its on like donkey Kong!!! hes pretty good about stopping when I say wait (loosing my grip) if he re-positions the toy and gets my fingers he stops pretty quick and waits for me to say ok... once I am tired and done I will tell him easy (this allows one handed play) when I am done playing altogether, I tell him enough and he takes the and is out of my face....

        I'm not sure if there is a right or a wrong way.... set rules and BOUNDARIES and follows those strictly.
        sigpic
        Mom of 3 dogs & 4 small humans
        Titan - GD
        Thor - GD RIP 12/28/13 6/1/14
        Finnegan - Mini Schnauzer
        Cookie - Mini Schnauzer

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KatieRae View Post
          I've read a lot about this, and I've found pretty much the same thing Greenmagick is saying.

          Apollo gets extremely obnoxious when we play tug, so we do it outside only. He's still learning the 'no running/play time in the apartment' rule (for our downstairs neighbors sake), so there is absolutely NO roughhousing inside, ever for us.

          When we play, it's usually because he is tossing around his tuggy in the house, and he needs to burn off some energy. We always begin with the 'watch' command (which is new, and we are working on), to the 'sit' position with a good firm 'stay.' When I am ready, and say 'ok', he is allowed to do anything he feels is necessary (aside from jumping and lunging) to get the tuggy. I always let him get a good grip, and the fun begins! I usually win (he loses his grip after a minute or two), but lately, I've been trying to encourage him to try and win, so I let up and give it to him about every other time. He is usually pretty polite about it, and lets me grab a hold of the other end when I let him win, but when he's a jerk and takes off with it, game ends, and we go inside. We also turn it into a training opportunity, and I'll ask him to 'drop it' and 'leave it', then the process starts over with the 'watch,' 'sit', 'stay', fun. If he decides to be a jerk and get obnoxious, we go inside. If he's polite and listens, we go on for as long as he is polite. I LOVE teaching him manners this way; makes things fun, and life easy. Plus, now that he's over 100lbs (I think), it's one hell of a work out!
          what exactly is the "watch" command? btw i love this explanation and hope to apply it to Nix when he comes home
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Lol Ferg always wins, but I think he cheats a little. He'll only play on carpet, then immediately sits back into it and it's game over lol. He is good (usually) about dropping when asked, it's just hard to time it before he's already won.

            Sent from my MB886 using Tapatalk
            sigpic
            Fergus
            SC Dinnie Stone Guardian, CGC
            Eisen Shark
            C Shadows On The Sun, CGC

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KatieRae View Post
              I've read a lot about this, and I've found pretty much the same thing Greenmagick is saying.

              Apollo gets extremely obnoxious when we play tug, so we do it outside only. He's still learning the 'no running/play time in the apartment' rule (for our downstairs neighbors sake), so there is absolutely NO roughhousing inside, ever for us.

              When we play, it's usually because he is tossing around his tuggy in the house, and he needs to burn off some energy. We always begin with the 'watch' command (which is new, and we are working on), to the 'sit' position with a good firm 'stay.' When I am ready, and say 'ok', he is allowed to do anything he feels is necessary (aside from jumping and lunging) to get the tuggy. I always let him get a good grip, and the fun begins! I usually win (he loses his grip after a minute or two), but lately, I've been trying to encourage him to try and win, so I let up and give it to him about every other time. He is usually pretty polite about it, and lets me grab a hold of the other end when I let him win, but when he's a jerk and takes off with it, game ends, and we go inside. We also turn it into a training opportunity, and I'll ask him to 'drop it' and 'leave it', then the process starts over with the 'watch,' 'sit', 'stay', fun. If he decides to be a jerk and get obnoxious, we go inside. If he's polite and listens, we go on for as long as he is polite. I LOVE teaching him manners this way; makes things fun, and life easy. Plus, now that he's over 100lbs (I think), it's one hell of a work out!
              This is exactly how we were taught to play tug as well. He loves it!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KatieRae View Post
                Plus, now that he's over 100lbs (I think), it's one hell of a work out!
                The other day I had both dogs wanting to tug, so I had one on each arm. Way better than the gym!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jrturk View Post
                  The other day I had both dogs wanting to tug, so I had one on each arm. Way better than the gym!
                  My husband has used tug as a back workout before lol. He calls it "puppy rows".

                  Sent from my MB886 using Tapatalk
                  sigpic
                  Fergus
                  SC Dinnie Stone Guardian, CGC
                  Eisen Shark
                  C Shadows On The Sun, CGC

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by VanessaS View Post
                    what exactly is the "watch" command? btw i love this explanation and hope to apply it to Nix when he comes home

                    Some people use 'watch' in different ways, but I use it to get and keep Apollo's full attention on me, especially when we are in a dangerous or unfavorable situation. It's also nice to be able to snap him to attention when he's being an obnoxious psycho puppy.

                    I look at him, give a good, official sounding 'watch,' wait for him to look at me, then reward. The idea is to eventually get them to the point where you can say 'watch' and they will watch you for further commands, etc, until they are released.


                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                    -- Katelyn

                    sigpic
                    Apollo

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                    • #11
                      Eh, just stop playing if they do something majorly annoying to you. A good "trade" or "drop" would be a good idea, I guess, before launching into full-blown tugging. I've never worried about it, though. If you let the dog win and have the toy and just up and ignore them, what's the harm in that? Our poor sensitive great danes will feel bad about being ignored, not triumphant since they "won" the tug game--lol
                      Tracy
                      sigpic
                      Mouse April 2010
                      Echo -- run free, Sweetie! Jan 9, 2007 - April 24, 2014 Lost to osteosarcoma at 7 years, 3 months. RIP.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by VanessaS View Post
                        what exactly is the "watch" command? btw i love this explanation and hope to apply it to Nix when he comes home
                        I use "Focus".... (it can be what ever word you want as long as it is consistant its away to get Titan's attention without using his name all the time, and gets him prepared for a command that will follow.... its like kids, if they are NOT looking at you then they more than likely are not paying attention.
                        sigpic
                        Mom of 3 dogs & 4 small humans
                        Titan - GD
                        Thor - GD RIP 12/28/13 6/1/14
                        Finnegan - Mini Schnauzer
                        Cookie - Mini Schnauzer

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mnmouse View Post
                          Our poor sensitive great danes will feel bad about being ignored, not triumphant since they "won" the tug game--lol
                          Totally agree! Duchess occasionally wins now that she's pretty big and we have carpet. This results in her pushing the toy right back at my husband's lap (usually he's the one playing this strength game) or dropping it at his feet to play some more with that look on her face that just says "pleeeease keep playing!"

                          We did teach her to stop and drop the toy on command before she was ever allowed to win.

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