I just discovered that my puppy LOVES tug-a-war! But i'm so afraid to pull hard that it'll hurt his teeth. Is it the harder you pull the more 'challenging' for them? Or you really have to watch out for hurting their teeth?
Ri and I play tug-o-war (or as we call it, play "Ri-Ri") often, and when he pulls he pulls HARD. Has never hurt his teeth. If I sit on the couch he can pull me and the couch with my dad sitting on it across the room.
it depends on the Age of the dog and what teeth the dog are biting with. When the dog gets adult teeth at first they are hollow, it takes about 6-8 months for the inside to solidify. So a dog with brand new teeth can be damaged, but again you will have to pull extremely hard. The dog will groan if it hurts. Just watch the dog if the dog shows any type of discomfort, just go little lighter. Believe it or not, not only does winning build confidence but also Tug-of war is very tension filled game. If done correctly, Letting the dog win. The dog will learn to be able tension and stress better. IT was once thought that tug-of war was oppositional game used to establish rank and power. We now know that Tug is a game of cooperation and why dogs like to play is for the basic need of disection, if a prey was to big for a dog to eat,Hmmm How would we get that prey into edible pieces, Tug-of-war. Another thing about tug is getting the dog to let go. I just went to a seminar given by a man who just plced third in the world at the Schutzhund championships for the SV. His method of getting th edog to let go, was the most humane and effective I have ever seen. no collars, no pain, all verbal. It goes like this.
Your playing tug and the dog is shaking your pulling. you want the dog to let go. you stop, and in stop, I mean you freeze. keep the toy as still as you can. breathe in, like in you just got startled to create suspense. This gets the dog amped to think something is about ot happen. And say your word. remaing frozen. Of course the dog is not going to let go, it does not know yet. keep saying no, no. or ah ah. as no reward markers. The dog will eventually try letting go or get bored and let go. The minute the dog lets go. you come alive, and say something like get it. This way the dog thinks they made the game start again by letting go. but reward immediatly when the dog lets go. do not make them wait. that will come later. when the dog lets go on your word, or even on breathing in. you start lengthing the time inbtween the out and the start of the game. Now here was the best tip. When you want to stop completely. Straddle the dog and pick there front feet of the ground. eventuly they will drop it. pick the toy up, put the dog down. At first do not use the command to actually end the game. This kind of thing makes the dog think, "When I am obeidinet to the command they take my toy". This will give you problems with them wanting to give up the toy.
Oh and I forgot, The dog vites with the front teeth these are easier to damage than the back ones. If the dog has a shallow bite. hold the toy calmly and walk slowly backwards. keep the toy as unwrinkled and straight as you can, making the toy easy to bite on. then stop walking encoraging them to get it. most dogs after a few stops will bite deeper...watch your fingers. this will encorage the dog to place the pressure over more it's mouth. but be aware the more tired the dog gets the harder for them it is to get a deep bite. they need to breathe out of the corners of thier mouth.
***Edited By: gunny on 10/26/2006 1:50:02 AM*** Reason: f
Dogs are capable of learning many things. A dog can retain a soft mouth and know the diffrence between a bird and a stick and a knot of socks. But you have to establish limits with the game as with anything else.
With our Chessies if we did play tug o war games they knew what drop it or out means and released right away. I never knew any of them to be hard mouthed because of it.. Never had any of them want to play tug of war with the birds they retrieved.
IMO we had one Chessie that was hard mouthed, I know it sounds gross, but I really believe he just like to hear things crunch and the taste.
We had one huge female that loved to play tug of war, she was so spoiled. She would come and grab your hand and want to pull you around. This same girl came back from a run on the back half of the property her cheeks puffed out a little. We had her drop what she had in her mouth.. It was a baby rabbit, eyes not even open yet.. She took off and brought us each baby one by one and never put a mark on any of them... well except a little slobber.. lol 5 babies, we fed them with an eyedropper till they were big enough to release..
Sorry for my ramblings.. Anyway they know the difference between work and play.