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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the title asks.

I'm just wondering, for drive and confidence building purposes. Do you let the dog give it a good yank and let go and then praise the dog for getting it. Or do you try and always win?

I'm just wondering about this because Hawkeye is small enough where I can always win against him, but I feel like it's no fun for him and it could hurt his confidence level to always be losing.
 

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I have always incorporated fetch into tug, because I win a lot lol. So if I get it I throw it, she brings it back and tug carries on. It also means she isn't encouraged to grab it from my hands, because her aim is usually slightly off and my hands end up getting it instead...

But to end it I will usually throw it somewhere near my feet instead of her having to run for it, because when I do that she will always lie down and chew on it instead of bringing it back.
 

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What I do with Misty, who absolutely loves a game of tug, is play the "give and take" game.

Meaning she can't take it until I say "take" and she must let go when I say "let go". I believe someone posted a video about it earlier this week or so..

Sometimes I let her win, sometimes I win, and sometimes I say "let go". I end the game as soon as she seems to become bored with it--when she's not taking it exuberantly and begins looking around for something else to do, hahah. It helps keep you in control of the game and incorporates some mental stimulation as they have to think about when they can take it and when to give it.

I would think it'd also build confidence because they can communicate with you and can be sure they're doing the right thing.
 

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I win and lose during the game because it's all part of the game. But I want to encourage participating in the game with me, so giving the tug to me is also part of the game, and one of the behaviors I ask for during the game. To end the game I encourage her to give up the toy and I usually reward that with a tid bit or good ol' belly rub. I don't know if that counts as winning or losing but we seem to both enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hawkeyes commands to take and release are "Bite" and "Aus" and he has the "Aus" down to a T, but his "Bite" tends to lack confidence sometimes.
 

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I also split winning and losing - about 50/50. I do the fetch thing as well. She seems to think it's exciting to have to run after the tug. And we play chase sometimes if I win. She has to give it to me when I ask and then I have her take it back. We end the same way CP does, with her giving me the tug for another toy or treat.
 

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To improve the dog taking a toy, take a 4 foot piece of rope and tie it to the toy. Work it a little like a flirt pole. Some dogs (mine) don't like you to be as close to them for a game of tug. Not sure why, but I want it to work for the dog.

I let the dog win sometimes too. Why not? Must be frustrating to play a game and never win. It is a GAME which means you don't ALWAYS win.

To end the game of tug you can swap for food or you can stop playing or you can offer another toy. Ultimately you should be able to stop the game with a hand on the shoulder and "give.."

With my dog I say 'enough' and she give it. I can also break the game of tug my focusing my eyes somewhere else.. then she stops and has to see what I am looking at (heaven forbid she MISSES anything...).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
"Aus"? What a great word, hahah! What brought that word choice about?
"Aus" is the German word for "Out"

I have started using more German terms lately because I find the pronunciations are sometimes stronger and I get a faster response from the dog, and it also prevents others from using my dogs working commands as everyday words that lack enforcement.

For example,(a poor example)

Hawkeye is annoying one of my family members that come to visit, she tells him (in a very soft wimpy voice) "lay down, down, off, lay down, down hawk, down." I don't want my dog desensitized to the command "Down" because of others inability to enforce it when I might not be there so instead his command for down is "Platz"
 

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I have been letting Luna win occasionally but usually I win:D Just because like you I want m dog to enjoy playing. She has to sit before we start playing and then I tell her to take it and if I want her to stop I tell her to drop it.
 

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"Aus" is the German word for "Out"

I have started using more German terms lately because I find the pronunciations are sometimes stronger and I get a faster response from the dog, and it also prevents others from using my dogs working commands as everyday words that lack enforcement.

For example,(a poor example)

Hawkeye is annoying one of my family members that come to visit, she tells him (in a very soft wimpy voice) "lay down, down, off, lay down, down hawk, down." I don't want my dog desensitized to the command "Down" because of others inability to enforce it when I might not be there so instead his command for down is "Platz"
That's a brilliant idea. I should change some of my cues, as some of my family members don't seem to understand that you don't give a command unless you can enforce it. The one that's she's now completely desensitized to is "come" since my little sister and young nieces always want her around.

Thanks for the inspiration. ;S
 

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My rules for tug are the same no matter how we play it. The game always ends when I say (I don't believe you have to always end up with it); no 'keep away' games by either the dog or me; and no biting of the hands.

I play the game two different ways....as a 'cooperative kill'/bonding game where we each 'win' about evenly; and, as a confidence builder for the shy or Omega dog where the dog 'wins' the majority of the time with a small amount of fetch thrown in for both ways.

I don't play the 3rd way...winner takes all....full force...lifting the dog off the ground while they're hanging on with their teeth or drag them around the room.
 

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My rules for tug are the same no matter how we play it. The game always ends when I say (I don't believe you have to always end up with it); no 'keep away' games by either the dog or me; and no biting of the hands..
I always end the game with the dog wanting more. Absolutely important to build drive for the game.

Yup. You can get a DVD by Wendy Pape on dog games and she adds good into on Tug.

I play the game two different ways....as a 'cooperative kill'/bonding game where we each 'win' about evenly; and, as a confidence builder for the shy or Omega dog where the dog 'wins' the majority of the time with a small amount of fetch thrown in for both ways...
Yup! Excellant!!

I don't play the 3rd way...winner takes all....full force...lifting the dog off the ground while they're hanging on with their teeth or drag them around the room.
When I was a kid I had a neighbor do this with their dog, Cutie (Beagle Mix). Cutie let go and fell to the ground one day and broke her leg. She was in a cast a LONG time....
 

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For me and Lloyd our game of tug is different. We play tug, but the "winning" isn't who gets it . . . Lloyd wins if he lets go quickly when I say "drop it". If he lets go quick, he gets the toy, if he hesitates I keep the toy. I hold it out, he waits until I say "Tug!", we tug for a minute, then I say "drop it" and if he lets go quick, he wins the toy. If I managed to make it to enticing for him to let go quick I keep the toy for a minute. Then we play again.
 

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I don't play tug too often with the boys. No reason really, it just isn't one of our games. Inga on the other hand, was a huge lover of the "tug" game. I have heard so many people say "you have to control the game, you can't let them win or you will lose control of the dog" personally I think that is a bunch of bunk. Inga used to win tug all the time and it didn't change the fact that when I said "Aus" she dropped whatever was in her mouth and on one command. The way I look at it is, unless the dog has a little too much attitude then have fun and let them win from time to time. I think it is good for their attitude. A good way to build confidence in a shy dog. IMO

That's a brilliant idea. I should change some of my cues, as some of my family members don't seem to understand that you don't give a command unless you can enforce it. The one that's she's now completely desensitized to is "come" since my little sister and young nieces always want her around.

Thanks for the inspiration. ;S
It is true that there is that benefit. That said, every dogs I have ever owned up until the two I currently have were trained completely in German. Then I started hanging around with a few older folks from the humane society and they really loved spending time with my dogs but just couldn't handle the German commands. I found it easier to just retrain the dogs in English and gave up on German. Old people cannot be trained. lol
 
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