Author Topic: to tug or not to tug?  (Read 4614 times)

Offline choppersmom

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to tug or not to tug?
« on: January 20, 2008, 11:56:27 pm »
I have an Akita mix and a Pitbull. I have heard that you shouldn't let dogs play tug, but my pit will grab a sock or a towel and drop in front of the akita to get him to play tug with her. should this be avoided or is it ok? It has not yet caused any problems between them.

Offline choppersmom

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Re: to tug or not to tug?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 12:59:24 am »
Chopper is really good with drop it,(it's her best command, She is going for more intensive training soon) Butch on the other hand has much better manners but is not quite as good with drop it but when him and Chopper play he ALWAYS looses.
They are the same size but the pit is much stronger than the Akita. I haven't had him long and he was thin when I got him, (he was a stray) and he's only about a year old so he will probably catch up strength wise soon.

Offline Mojo1269

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Re: to tug or not to tug?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008, 01:16:42 am »
As long as they get the "give" command and that you are the boss of what ever happens to be getting tugged there should be no harm.
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Offline GrumpyBunny

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Re: to tug or not to tug?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008, 01:38:23 am »
As long as they get the "give" command and that you are the boss of what ever happens to be getting tugged there should be no harm.
I agree - I think tugging is fine, as long as the dog relinquishes the "prize" immediately when told.  I don't really think my guys think of getting sole possesion of whatever we are tugging on as "winning" - the first thing they do is push it right back at me for more tugging.

Jean Donaldson addresses this in her book "The Culture Clash".  I loaned my copy to someone and haven't gotten it back, but I think her basic theory is that it is ok.  Tugging, she says, is more of a cooperative behavior between dogs (i.e. tugging to bring down prey together) or a play behavior than it is a dominant behavior.  If a dog wants something another dog has he doesn't go and tug on it to get it away from him - he threatens him, or exerts his dominance in other ways until the other dog leaves the item.  She says tug is a great bonding experience between dog and human under two conditions - 1) the dog lets go when told  2) if teeth touch skin, even accidentally, the game ends immediately.

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Offline choppersmom

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Re: to tug or not to tug?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2008, 02:14:22 am »
Did she address dog vs dog tug? That is really where my concern lays.

Offline GrumpyBunny

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Re: to tug or not to tug?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2008, 02:55:52 am »
Did she address dog vs dog tug? That is really where my concern lays.
I don't recall her saying anything against it...
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Offline Saint and Mal mom

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Re: to tug or not to tug?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2008, 04:58:49 pm »
I agree with what everyone else has said. Tug of war is okay for dogs, unless they start getting too intense or mean about the game. My girls love to play it once in awhile! I'll post a link to a video of them playing it so you can watch if you'd like!  :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkvqFktHdNk

Marissa

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Offline Mojo1269

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Re: to tug or not to tug?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2008, 05:19:08 pm »
If you dogs don't try to establish doiminance play tug of war they will find another outlet for this task. It is very typical behavior in the canine world.  As others have elluded to, as long as one is not particularly passionalte/mean when tugging dog VS dog is fine.
Duke 5 Year Old Menacing Hound
Butler 1 Year Old Burgeoning Monster

VooDoo the Greatest Dane. 09-14-1995 - 12-31-2007 RIP my sweet

Offline choppersmom

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Re: to tug or not to tug?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2008, 10:41:11 pm »
Honestly I don't think I could really stop them if I wanted to they will tug anything!!!!  socks, dish towels, hair badns , even shoe laces.