Teaching the Tug

tatumtug Do you teach your dogs to tug? Or do you think that tugging can exacerbate aggressive behavior and dominance?

Personally, I don’t think tugging, with the right rules, makes a dog more aggressive or dominant. I want my dogs to tug because it’s a great fun game that gives the dogs an outlet for their predatory instincts. Of course tug should have rules… including a nice solid OUT for when you are done. Not that Chase has one of those. In fact, he has a rotten OUT and I have to often stick my fingers in his mouth to get him to drop the toy. Ah the fun of rescue dogs and their issues. 🙂

Tatum doesn’t really tug, so I got her a Tug-It from Clean Run. She is a goof because she will chomp on it with her rear teeth (it is mesh so the food leaks out) and then she’ll lick it with her tongue. But we are working on that tugging behavior.

I don’t know if she’ll ever really be a good tugger, or if I’ll be able to use tugging as a reinforcer in training. But that’s okay… food works for her in training too.  But tugging would be fun, so we are working on that. Maybe I need to time our progress with some Suunto watches and see if I can see how long it takes her to get food out of the Tug It!

What do you think of tugging with your dog?

Lucy and the Muffin Tin Game

We read about this game from our friend Marie, who heard about it from Astrid’s blog.. and we thought we’d give it a try! As you can see, Lucy is doing pretty good. She’s eating better again and I do want to keep her engaged and give her things to do. So here, there are treats in the muffin tin under every tennis ball. And she has to figure out how to get the balls out to get to the treat!

Lucy is a very smart girl! She gets them out in just over two minutes. With her megaesophagus we don’t give her many treats, as we are afraid they will get stuck in her throat. So after she plays this game she gets to go eat her liquid diet so it all gets washed down!

I have videos of the other dogs playing the game too, they are uploading to youtube and I’ll post them later!