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tug-o-war
  • toecaritoecari
    Posts: 150
    Do any of you play tug-o-war with your Shibas? I've heard it's bad and I've heard it's good (with rules)
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8508
    We play tug-o-war with the fur babies... We use it as a training exercise for 'drop it'. But make it fun, of course. Usually only lasts for about 5 minutes before someone (*cough* the dog *cough*) gets bored...
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • I don't play tug of war with my dogs. I leave that as game played between dogs. I have found with dogs I have had in the past, that those I played tug of war with more often would cross boundaries with us human types and get mouthy. I know Moto would often try to bite people who played tug of war with them.
    I don't think there is a definitive answer for this one. And I wouldn't say some one was wrong for playing TOW with their dog. You just have to be very mindful with them.
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    Jazz isn't really interested in playing tug of war.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
    CSC_0144
  • Darwin67Darwin67
    Posts: 390
    IMHO, if played correctly, it shouldn't be detrimental...I was once told, that if you engage in TOW, that you have to make sure when the game ends, you are the always the victor.

    Our breeder did note, that two similarily tempered shiba boys that left from the same litter, ultimately wound up being very different in temperment as adults..she noted that the one who often engage in TOW with his dad was a lot more dominant than the other male who was raised in a home that didn't do TOW.
  • KaddyKaddy
    Posts: 1248
    We play it with Keiko (Belle doesn't really get it), but we also use drop it or gentle while playing. I was kind of against it at first, but after suggestions that it might help with her under bite we got a rope toy and let her play for a little bit each day. I have no idea if it really did help with her teeth, but it's a game I look forward to ;o)
  • T isn't interested in tugging. He likes to kill his favorite stuffed animals though.
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 1361
    Personally, I agree with Karen 100%

    The rules of the game are we can play, but when I say "drop it" you better drop it! I don't see TOW as being a win-win situation, however, like Jessica, I wouldn't say it was necessarily wrong, but not something I would do.~
  • wliu003wliu003
    Posts: 222
    Kelly recently bit one of my friends who was playing tug of war with her. With me, she doesn't even play, she just lets go and doesn't really try to pull. I think this happens because I never wanted to play with her in the first place, so I would always tell her to let go, so no she just lets go by herself without me saying anything.
    Post edited by wliu003 at 2009-02-19 05:27:00
  • Around here it is something we both love doing.
    It was used as a "leave it" exercise, it was used to get Kuma's baby fangs to finally come off, it's used for fun! Kuma will often come to me or Nat with his rope toy so we tug a bit. Recently he seems to get bored of it sooner than before, maybe a maturing thing.

    Physically, I see it as a great exercise for dogs, since they put their whole body into it. I agree that it must follow some rules, like the "leave it" and, personally, I try to not let him "win" and succeed almost every time. I never noticed Kuma crossing the boundaries, but I guess that will also depend on the dog's temperament.
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3433
    Awhile back I went to a short Patricia McConnell seminar where she talked about her latest book Play Together, Stay Together. One of the main topics she talked about was playing Tug-O-War. She used to think it was a flat out bad thing to do with dogs, but changed her mind as she realized she could turn it into a training exercise. Now she uses it as a fun game and training time with her dogs. There is more about it in the book, I think. I didn't buy it....

    http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/product/play-together-stay-together
  • WhiteGC8WhiteGC8
    Posts: 150
    Yoshi and I play TOW, but he'll get bored w/ it real fast. I'd say 5 minutes is the longest we've ever played. I used it to train him to "leave it" but he picked it up too quick for it to even be fun for me :(.

    I mainly play TOW when I can't bring him out for a walk because of weather (mainly when it rains). Then after 20 mins. of no activity, I'll try to get him to go at it again or play fetch. But for Yoshi, it's more like bring it close to my person and kill kill kill!
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4785
    I do a little "tug" with Beebe in conjunction with her retreiving training. She has to hold the item/keep a steady bite pressure even if I grab, push, or pull on the dumbell. It's all just training for her to help her learn to carry an item over a jump/obstacle without dropping it or mouthing it once she brings it to me.

    Ike plays "keep away" with Beebe and tries to keep her from getting a certain toy, but he won't play tug with her. He started becoming interested in playing tug with me, we rarely do, he has a very soft mouth and I want to keep it that way, but now he nips at my clothes and hands when I walk by him (naughty boy!). I don't know if this is because he is intact and starting to get comfortable in his new home or due to the variety of games we play that encourage his prey drive. Beebe never nips and I have actually focused much, much more on "tug" games with her than with Ike.

    I guess I'm on the fence about "tug" being a good game or not. It's a good game for Beebe because she knows the rules. I guess the main thing with having a good result is establishing clear boundaries."Common sense isn't so common"
  • We play TOW with both our dogs, using it during training with leave it and just for fun. But we have to play by the rules, and 'accidental' bites during a TOW session is never allowed and the game ends there. I never considered it a bad activity with any of the dogs I've lived with.
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    I think it depends on the dog, the owner, the toy, etc. Rakka and Isaac sometimes play TOW together, and Rakka is very gentle and barely pulls on the toy, then usually lets go after a while so Isaac can throw it. I only let them use a really long toy, too, because I don't want any little toddler fingers accidentally getting chomped.
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • ZinjaZinja
    Posts: 200
    Tug-Of-War is great for dogs. Some people say it will facilitate aggression but it doesn't. In The Culture Class Jean Donaldson talks about TOW and how to play it nicely. Sasuke used to be really bad at "drop it" but after playing TOW a few times, he understands he must drop it when I say. He also knows that I initiate and end the game, not him. My Ninja and Sasuke play TOW a few times... Ninja ALWAYS wins, unless she is distracted or doesn't care about the object. It is also nice to teach puppies bite inhibition. Sasuke is very mouthy and would attempt to nip at my hands to make me drop the tug toy. That is when I say "ouch!" and he has started to lessen the amount of accidental bites.
  • Skippy and I do TOW with a rope toy however it's a gentle TOW. I never want to hurt his teeth by pulling too hard. When I want him to let go, I look at him and say "release" and he lets go. As mentioned in previous messages, I always win so he knows to quit. He might instigate it however because he wants to play, that's OK.
  • Bump

    So Banjo and I go to the park pretty often. He goes 3x a week with his trainer to work on doggy manners. But only 1-2x a week with me.

    He learned tug with humans only AFTER I taught him that a human that wants something from him gets it no matter what. Teaching him tug later was hard, but its a lot of fun and he knows drop it so the game lasts longer. The only "incidents" are when I play tug with the flirt pole and he goes after the rope instead of the toy.

    My question is on dog to dog tug. How do you know when its a game vs a competition? Meaning, shiba's growl and what not when playing. What warning signs do you look for that a dog to dog tug game should be ended? His play/training group doesn't have this problem since the dogs are all temperament tested and under the care of a professional. Its more for when its me and Banjo at the park and dogs we don't know (but who all play fine together when there is no tug toy) are there.

    Doggy parenting is new to me. Sorry if this question sounds silly.


  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @BanjoTheBetaDog

    #1 toys should not be at the dog park. Just to avoid any RISK of resource guarding dogs snapping.

    #2 I think your choice of words is a bit confusing as a game can be a competition, and vise versa. But I know what you are trying to say ;)

    Each dog is different, and it comes down to "Know thy dog". For example: My dog growls during tug with other dogs, but when she's had enough, she does this "death stare" followed up by a "air snap". I usually redirect her when i see the "death stare"

    I personally would not risk having my dog play tug with another dog at the dog park, since a majority of the time, other owners don't pay attention to their dogs....or do not know how to read body language. The only time they intervene is when it is too late - this applies to ALL situations.

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