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K9 Product Series - Tugs

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centrop67
Site Admin
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Posts: 1271
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:42 pm
Tell us about yourself: Accidental DS rescuer. Human companion to Radar and Leela. Owner of the site, looking to make this the top site for information and discussion on Dutch Shepherds.
Location: Cutler Bay, FL, USA

K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by centrop67 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:44 am

The idea is to have a broader understanding of the equipment, its use, origin, and ups and downs. From time to time (I can't commit to a set schedule.), I will post an item and ask for comments.

Specifically, I am looking to answer these questions from the members of the forum:
What is it?
Where'd it come from?
Have you used it?
When's the best time, or what situations would you use it?
What are the positives?
What are the negatives?
Where's the best place to get it?

For this thread I am asking about tugs. My Radar loves his big orange ball, but nothing will get his attention faster than when I bring out a tug toy.

Image

There is a ton of video on training/playing tug with your dog. I like this one, because it teaches having a balance (instead of dominance) as well as incorporating training into the game.


Of course, I am not an expert, so I am interested in your opinion on the video as well as different ways of playing/training with a tug.

Karen Pryor has a page that shows step by step instructions for getting started with tug and clicker training:
http://www.clickertraining.com/node/1355

And, here's a couple sites to purchase tug toys:
Leerburg
EliteK9

Some of the questions to answer...
There's a ton of different varieties, ropes, bags, pillows, bite bars, so is it just a matter of which one the dog is more interested in, or are the specific applications for some of these varieties?

What about material? Are you partial to leather or synthetic, rope, jute, or something else?

What about tethering? Is there a commercial model that will withstand DS play, and do you believe there's any value in them?

And finally, the million dollar question: How many of you have had the web between your thumb and pointer finger pierced while playing tug, and is there a secret for preventing this?
Michael
The pack -> Radar (DS), Leela (Mal?), and Karen (Human) - Cutler Bay, FL USA
RIP: Tequila and Snickers
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

k9lexi
Green Dog
Posts: 234
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:23 am
Tell us about yourself: Over the past 25 years I shared my life with a Rott, two Akitas, and a Shepherd/Husky mix. I now have my first Dutch Shepherd. Lexi was born in early September 2014. She is great in so many different ways but I could use advice from some been there done that DS owners.

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by k9lexi » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:45 am

Thanks!! Love the video and love elitek9. Lexi has a couple tugs and balls on ropes on the way now!

TimL_168
Training Dog
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: Hi,
Short and sweet here- I'm a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. I'm looking for a more energetic dog that had the same intelligence and trainability. I'm interested in advice, opinions, and a place to share experiences.
Location: central MD

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by TimL_168 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:19 am

I'll skip right to the last part because I noticed something this morning while exercising Endeavor. When she comes in to grip the tug, I realized I was moving it away from her. I'm sure this is a reflex...a flinch on my part. I think it might be conditioning her to always move closer to my hand to bite the tug. No doubt, I developed the flinch from her making contact to begin with, but her old handler could have had the same flinch. When I use the ring tug(I'll post on it tomorrow), she bites very deep, trying to get closer to the part I'm holding. I wonder if she prefers to bite the tug where it is firmer-closer to my white knuckled fingers.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor

Joxgirl
Training Dog
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Tell us about yourself: Brought a Dutch Shepherd into our lives.
Location: Southern California

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Joxgirl » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:06 am

Good video posted above.
Still hoping someone will answer if there is one tug they prefer over another.
Saralee
Rogue (Dutch Shepherd)-6 months old.
Phoenix (Lab rescue) -10 y/o
Charley (Malti-Poo; rescue)-4 y/o

TimL_168
Training Dog
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: Hi,
Short and sweet here- I'm a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. I'm looking for a more energetic dog that had the same intelligence and trainability. I'm interested in advice, opinions, and a place to share experiences.
Location: central MD

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by TimL_168 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:50 am

I've had good experience with the bite suit material tugs from Ray Allen.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor

Joxgirl
Training Dog
Posts: 564
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:38 pm
Tell us about yourself: Brought a Dutch Shepherd into our lives.
Location: Southern California

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Joxgirl » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:48 pm

Thank you.
Saralee
Rogue (Dutch Shepherd)-6 months old.
Phoenix (Lab rescue) -10 y/o
Charley (Malti-Poo; rescue)-4 y/o

Owned-By-Hendrix
Training Dog
Posts: 938
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:40 am
Tell us about yourself: Dutch Shepherd Owner.

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:25 am

So. Much. Info. On. Tugs.

So... Selecting a tug for your dog depends a lot on personality, tug duration, goal of the tug session, dog bite dynamics, and dog background.

Synthetic/suit material - most common. Can be bitten through but generally very durable.
Jute - second most common. Slightly easier to get holes in from bites.
Leather - much stronger than synthetic or jute and harder to puncture. Gets slippery when wet.
Firehose - much harder to puncture than leather and synthetic. Very slippery when wet.

Size. Size does matter. For pups I like to use a very long, wide, and soft tug to encourage a deep grip. For older dogs I like a harder dog tug. Some dogs prefer a long thin flat tug, others a rolled tug (considerably harder), some a wedge, some a small square... If you want to encourage a full deep bite, I personally like wider tugs that are shorter (so more square shaped) so they don't fold in the middle. Dogs who bite a longer, thinner, flat tug tend to either hold it in the back of their mouth or in their front.

As far as some of the tugs labeled "bite builders" they're basically very hard tugs. Ideally the hard tug makes the dog bite harder to get the sensory feedback of the tug compressing, which would transfer to the sleeve.

Handles are also a personal preference. One handle, two, none... I tend to go with no handles until the pup can target correctly. If I'm doing OB and swinging the tug with one hand for the reward, I prefer one handed tugs just to eliminate the dog grabbing the other handle. It does alter how I play but my dogs don't seem to mind. And the two handled tug, always a good choice. If the dog is chewing on the handle, spray with apple bitters or out every time the dog grabs the tug and heavily reward when the dog bites the actual tug. I also saw the other day someone was making tug with biothane handles.

As far as the game... it depends on what you want to do. I use tug to work on bite mechanics, build confidence, encourage handler focus, relieve stress, and have fun. I do encourage to keep the head level with the spine and no jerking the head for the safety of the dog.

ALM can make custom tugs, and Horton's K9 has quality tugs with low price points. K9 Vitamins also has a good selection of tugs as well. Tactical K9 also makes good tugs. And if you ever find Klein tugs, they are awesome tugs!

I personally swear by ALM - all around better quality and stands up to hard biters. I get a custom tug made for my crew.
Kay
(Pepper's Look-A-Like)
(Tyson's Soul Twin)

Steve Gossmeyer
Training Dog
Posts: 380
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:43 pm
Tell us about yourself: Schutzhund helper and trainer I own and work two Dutchies
Location: Long Island

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Steve Gossmeyer » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:58 am

I prefer the good old ball on a rope! I don't use tugs in obedience training

Dutchringgirl
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Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
Contact:

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Dutchringgirl » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:28 pm

all of my tugs had bite suit material. Thalie would go ballistic at the mere site of the tug !!
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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Tennessee3
Puppy
Posts: 70
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Tell us about yourself: GSD puppy in training for Schutzhund

Looking to add a Dutch for the same + PP work, once my current puppy is titled.

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Tennessee3 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:52 pm

Great Idea!

Lots of great info in this thread!

I've been learning a good bit about this subject in preparation for working with my pup once she gets done teething, she won't hold on to anything at the moment which is a bummer cause for her tugs even more fun than ball and ball is like crack for her LOL.

Can't wait to try out all of the strategies mentioned in here. :wtg:

zxs107020
Green Dog
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:34 am
Tell us about yourself: Dallas, TX. I have owned two dutch shepherds. Both were/are service dogs. I hope to trial in competitive obedience/tracking with my current puppy.

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by zxs107020 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:39 pm

Tennessee3 wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:52 pm
Great Idea!

Lots of great info in this thread!

I've been learning a good bit about this subject in preparation for working with my pup once she gets done teething, she won't hold on to anything at the moment which is a bummer cause for her tugs even more fun than ball and ball is like crack for her LOL.

Can't wait to try out all of the strategies mentioned in here. :wtg:
Get a leather puppy bite rag - thats what I did when I realized my dog was too little for the hard ones. She goes nuts for it.

You could even say it helps with teething lol, she definitely ripped a couple out while playing tug- the thing looks like it came out of a horror film now spattered with blood and all.
Aachen Cleopatra 2/15/17

Steve Gossmeyer
Training Dog
Posts: 380
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Tell us about yourself: Schutzhund helper and trainer I own and work two Dutchies
Location: Long Island

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Steve Gossmeyer » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:51 pm

It's never a good idea to play tug while teething!!! That's how you create issues... if it hurts it could ruin any bitework or tug play for the future

Dutchringgirl
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Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
Contact:

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Dutchringgirl » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:24 pm

be careful when teething, any pain associated with biting could back the dog off for future work. It does not take much to ruin a good bite. I have seen that many times and you can never get it back.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
ImageImage

DaHawaiianDS
Green Dog
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:07 pm
Tell us about yourself: Proud owner of Kapena (DS), Shorty (Senior Dachshund), and Ember (dsh cat)

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by DaHawaiianDS » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:17 am

Dutchringgirl wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:24 pm
be careful when teething, any pain associated with biting could back the dog off for future work. It does not take much to ruin a good bite. I have seen that many times and you can never get it back.
I wish we'd caught Kapena's teething issues early enough but didn't. We stopped and took all the tuggies away as soon as we noticed. He did still want to catch and play and showed no aversion to mouthing and tugging on his regular fetch toys which is how we noticed it. A couple rounds of fetch and he was bleeding but insisting on more. I hope this didnt make him lose his bite! We're getting a bite work test soon and then we'll know! *Crosses fingers*
Proud Pack Mama of Shorty (Doxie, IVDD Senior), Ember (DSH Dilute calico once feral), and Kapena (DS puppers, snarky back talker extraordinaire)

Tennessee3
Puppy
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Tell us about yourself: GSD puppy in training for Schutzhund

Looking to add a Dutch for the same + PP work, once my current puppy is titled.

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Tennessee3 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:12 pm

Steve Gossmeyer wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:51 pm
It's never a good idea to play tug while teething!!! That's how you create issues... if it hurts it could ruin any bitework or tug play for the future
Dutchringgirl wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:24 pm
be careful when teething, any pain associated with biting could back the dog off for future work. It does not take much to ruin a good bite. I have seen that many times and you can never get it back.
I don't know if these were actually directed at me, but yeah... I have zero interest in pushing the issue, I don't want a mental association with bite / tug = pain.

Steve Gossmeyer
Training Dog
Posts: 380
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:43 pm
Tell us about yourself: Schutzhund helper and trainer I own and work two Dutchies
Location: Long Island

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Steve Gossmeyer » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:08 pm

Tennessee3 wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:12 pm
Steve Gossmeyer wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:51 pm
It's never a good idea to play tug while teething!!! That's how you create issues... if it hurts it could ruin any bitework or tug play for the future
Dutchringgirl wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:24 pm
be careful when teething, any pain associated with biting could back the dog off for future work. It does not take much to ruin a good bite. I have seen that many times and you can never get it back.
I don't know if these were actually directed at me, but yeah... I have zero interest in pushing the issue, I don't want a mental association with bite / tug = pain.
Nope! Someone made a comment on how cool it was their dog was bleeding on the bite rag

Tennessee3
Puppy
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:29 pm
Tell us about yourself: GSD puppy in training for Schutzhund

Looking to add a Dutch for the same + PP work, once my current puppy is titled.

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Tennessee3 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:54 pm

Steve Gossmeyer wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:08 pm
Tennessee3 wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:12 pm
Steve Gossmeyer wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:51 pm
It's never a good idea to play tug while teething!!! That's how you create issues... if it hurts it could ruin any bitework or tug play for the future
Dutchringgirl wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:24 pm
be careful when teething, any pain associated with biting could back the dog off for future work. It does not take much to ruin a good bite. I have seen that many times and you can never get it back.
I don't know if these were actually directed at me, but yeah... I have zero interest in pushing the issue, I don't want a mental association with bite / tug = pain.
Nope! Someone made a comment on how cool it was their dog was bleeding on the bite rag
:lol:

I like it here too much to send the very uncouth response that popped into my head.

Steve Gossmeyer
Training Dog
Posts: 380
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:43 pm
Tell us about yourself: Schutzhund helper and trainer I own and work two Dutchies
Location: Long Island

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Steve Gossmeyer » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:43 pm

Tennessee3 wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:54 pm
Steve Gossmeyer wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:08 pm
Tennessee3 wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:12 pm




I don't know if these were actually directed at me, but yeah... I have zero interest in pushing the issue, I don't want a mental association with bite / tug = pain.
Nope! Someone made a comment on how cool it was their dog was bleeding on the bite rag
:lol:

I like it here too much to send the very uncouth response that popped into my head.
Lmao I can imagine after reading my comment again

Tennessee3
Puppy
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:29 pm
Tell us about yourself: GSD puppy in training for Schutzhund

Looking to add a Dutch for the same + PP work, once my current puppy is titled.

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Tennessee3 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:15 am

Aight, I've got a question I don't think has been covered yet.

What is y'all's thought on the different types of tugs bite pillows, single & 2 handle jutes, bite wedges, knotted ropes, etc.

Thanks!

ETA dutchringgirl sort of covered it but I hope some more light can be shed on the subject.

Dutchringgirl
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4883
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:05 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
Contact:

Re: K9 Product Series - Tugs

Post by Dutchringgirl » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:00 pm

Tennessee3 wrote:
Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:15 am
Aight, I've got a question I don't think has been covered yet.

What is y'all's thought on the different types of tugs bite pillows, single & 2 handle jutes, bite wedges, knotted ropes, etc.

Thanks!

ETA dutchringgirl sort of covered it but I hope some more light can be shed on the subject.
I had a one handle tug, no reason, thats just what we had, it had bite suit material , because the dogs like the suit. We all had tugs, they were easy to put in the pocket of our training vets, and they would be in the left pocket right above the dog at heel, so they would look up at it. It was also easy to pull out of the vest when done as the reward.

It depends on what your doing too, I have some ball on ropes, knotted ropes too, the girls used to like to play tug of war for hours outside.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
ImageImage

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