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Do you tug?

Discussion in 'Sheltie Training' started by SheltieChe, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

    Oct 15, 2009
    TUG :eek2: heaven forbid Sca not just give it to me :lol:

    Of course Spitfire has such a low tug weight it is hard for him to make a difference.
  2. mellie

    mellie Forums Enthusiast

    May 18, 2011
    East Coast
    Sally loves tug...she always has.She also likes to fetch too. She will often bring her tug toy over to us to play and drop it on our feet or shove it up on our lap and then just stare until you go to grab it,then she will try to get it before you can. Her expression is "come on, let's play". Her toy is a rope tug that gradually seems to get smaller over time...foreign body in the making. Tug is fun and a step into Sally's world -a nice change for her-somethig she can initiate all by herself.
  3. take4roll10

    take4roll10 Moderator

    Aug 31, 2009
    New York
    Bailey does the same thing when she wins tugging. She steps back and shakes it for a few seconds and then brings it back. Sometimes she does a little dance, where she pounces in a circle.
  4. SheltieChe

    SheltieChe Forums Sage

    Jan 6, 2010
    The science behind tug is simple. Tug increases drive as it feeds of prey drive that dog has. If anyone is sgined up for SG newsletters/ they are free no obligations and not that often/ she mentions that any dog can be turned into nontuggy dog just as well can be turned into tug crazy dog. You just need to figure out what your pup will go nutso for :wink2:
    Big part of my desire to teach tug is following. There is Yerkes Dodson law on arousal and peak perfromance for dogs and humans.
    When I am out training with my dog I want us to hit that yellow zone of peak performance every time. I really dislike when people start saying " oh it is a full moon.. or it is too hot... too windy... too something..." and excuse dog behavior in the ring. And it relates not only to shy fearful dog who barely walks over the jump, it is the same for the high over the top doggie happily running zoomies.
    If the judge was wearing a live squirrel on his shoulder I bet EVERY tired and too hot too something dog will be running at full speed on that agility field:lol:
    so it is not a matter of "something" it is matter of motivation. And tug does build drive and motivation. Sure it is just a part of the process but it is important part.
    I doubt we will ever have tug superceding food in reward terms but I am soo happy we are tugging on the training fields.
  5. romeosangiovese

    romeosangiovese Forums Enthusiast

    Sep 29, 2008
    Romeo was a tuggy puppy, then I turned him into a non-tuggy dog (pre-agility days) and now, mummy's confusing the heck out of him by making him tuggy again! :lol:
  6. Toffee's Mom

    Toffee's Mom Forums Sage

    Aug 31, 2009
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    It's a great stress reliever, for sure with Toffee
    I just did not give up trying to get him to tug in different areas.
    I can now switch up fairly easy between food and tug, sure he has his favourite tug but he prefers the latex squeaky ball over that, even. I use it that one reward him for working away from me. He loves the ball OVER dehydrated tripe treats ...
    I really LOVE that in class or at trials I can reward his CALM behaviour on the mat or in the crate with food, and then can still promptly take him out and get him to tug easy and ignore other high arousal things...
    To me that is a great balance I am happy with... but took us what? at least a year?

    I agree with Shelli, in the end it's about our relationship and I have seen plenty dogs loving just push back and jam or roughousing and high fives... to work with their handler
  7. HopeShelties

    HopeShelties Forums Enthusiast

    Dec 2, 2008
    I can tug with 3 of the 4 dogs I trial right now. For Ember, it helps. Kai is the same dog regardless of what you do, but she is always on in agility. She's one of those that the agility is a reward. For Athena, she loves tugging, but I get the most speed out of her by picking her up and starting to rev her up outside the ring letting her watch the other dogs run. By the time she's in the ring, she is fired up and ready to go. Aurora does tug at home, but it is not what we do at the trials as it is not the routine that makes her most comfortable. She is the one who's been attacked. She is best if I'm personally interacting with my hands. She wants me to rough house with her. She is big into chasing, and agility is about chasing me. She gets her confidence for the ring depending on what I do with her before she goes in.
    All 4 of these dogs will tug. They all have naturally had a lot of toy drive. However, I think it comes down to knowing what works best for you and your dog to get the most out of them that you can in the ring. That is what I do. I experiment and find what works for each dog to make sure running is as fun as it can be, and that my dog is as on as they can be, and ready to go out and run as fast as they can.
    Now in practice, I will alternate rewards depending on what I'm working on. I can interchange a tug, throw toy, and treats depending on what I need to do. In fact, with my young Rebound grandson, Roxas, I use a lot of toy throwing and tugging. He was too focused on me, is super fast, extremely green (bad combo- ends up with dog missing obstacles and barking at me) so I am using very little food, and a lot of throwing and tugging to help reinforce obstacle focus in him.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  8. SheltieChe

    SheltieChe Forums Sage

    Jan 6, 2010
    oh, that is what we are working up to now in shaping course. Somehow I have not made a routine out of transitions. I feel new shaping course we are test driving is about shaping me as much as about my dogs. Transition into going into session with full "on" switch, taking balance breaks, going out of session transition. Us too, use all the running, roughhousing, games and tugging to get us there. I had, like you with Roxas, same problem with Leo when I overbalanced him to focus on me vs obstacles so I too started putting more value into obstacles and now we happily getting more distance and joy back into obstacles. It is really fun to train. Great to know we are on right road!/ now I am still not excited about competing, training is much more fun but maybe/:biggrin2:
  9. Bejilia

    Bejilia Forums Regular

    May 13, 2011
    I think 90% of handlers here use tug toys for Agility and other speed business.

    I had to train Quilpie in tugging, but now he loves it and since he do, he runs full speed every time and every time he got faster, he loved it more.

    Vinci ever had such a high drive, that I have to use food for concentration work, but tugging is heaven to him... :wink2:

    R. m. Q.
  10. bwibwigouza

    bwibwigouza Forums Enthusiast

    Nov 16, 2011
    BC, Canada
    Mozart isn't trained for agility but loves to tug. I didn't need to teach him he just automatically pull the rope toy the other way! For Mozart the game of tug is at its high now that he is teething. He even lost a few "baby" front teeth to his rope toy. I use to let him play tug with just rope toy but now he would tug at towels, blankets, rags, and leash. As for the leash, I don't allow him to pull, so he would hold the slack part in his mouth and appear to be walking himself!

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