I used to believe dogs played tug for the joy of tugging and the outcome didn't matter, well I've changed my opinion, recently after playing full on tug with Roz there is only one thing on her mind and thats to hold on longer than me.I decided to play tug with her in a battle of wills and strength, the only rule was to hold on to your end of the tug toy and not let go, the first one to let go loses and I can't change hands or use 2 hands. Well the game began and there was no way Roz was letting go, oh another rule of the game is no verbal intimidation so basically we were both hanging on trying to wrench, tear, bluff or outfox the other into letting go but after 20 minutes (yep 20) we were both still holding firm, Roz had laid down on her side and let me drag her on the carpet a couple of times but she hung on firm, she was only regaining strength because after a minute of this she'd get up and start pulling again, my hand was really sore and tired and I was hardly able to hold on by now, I was considering defeat but gave a last minute desparate shake and pull catching Roz unawares, she momentarily loses grip and BINGO I win!!
Round 2 wasn't so fortunate, tonight I suffered a 10 minute defeat, for whatever reason my heart just wasn't in it and Roz's determination wore me out, 1 all.
round 3 coming soon.
Paul
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
I used to believe dogs played tug for the joy of tugging and the outcome didn't matter, well I've changed my opinion, recently after playing fullon tug with Roz there is only one thing on her mind and thats to hold onlonger than me.

there was a study done about tugging and it was found that dogs like to play more often if you let them win on occasion. Sound like Rozzy is no exception!
I used to believe dogs played tug for the joy of tugging and the outcome didn't matter, well I've changed ... on tug with Roz there is only one thing on her mind and thats to hold on longer than me.

I'm glad you were open to paying attention to what Roz was trying to tell you. Since dogs do have different personalities and different ways of relating what you have discovered is that winning matters to some dogs, and one of those is Roz.

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dogplay.com/Shop /
(Email Removed) words:
what you have discovered is that winning matters to some dogs, and one of those is Roz.

Yep. If he owned Rocsi, he'd have come to a completely different conclusion. Let her "win", and more often than not, she immediately brings the object back to hand so the game can go on.
This is particularly funny when the object of tug is the leash - especially because it confounds 90% of observers, who draw an entirely wrong conclusion as to what's going on when they see her apparently "fighting" her leash.
They assume that she's trying to get away from me, or protesting the leash... however, if I let go, or Rocsi inadvertently pulls it out of my hand, she stops dead. If I then hold out my hand, she'll pick up the end of the leash in her mouth, trot over, and place it in my hand. I have to admit that I get a kick out of watching people's faces when she does this.
Child:>there was a study done about tugging and it was found that dogs like to play more often if you let them win on occasion. Sound like Rozzy is no exception!
Actually, you should always let the dog win, and praise her very enthusiastically for winning. This will do a number of beneficial things for overall behavior, and can even be used with some dogs to cure aggression!
And a dog who always wins will also be more likely to bring the object back to you for another game, not because she doesn't like to win but because she wants to win again. (And again and again.) Which brings up another rule: it's okay to let the dog initiate tug once in a while, if you're in the mood to play, but it's important for you to always be in charge of when the game ends.
And no tugging allowed on the leash, clothes, or body parts.
Actually, you should always let the dog win,

Why? That would take most of the fun out if it for all three of my dogs- they don't want to "win" the object, they want to TUG.
And a dog who always wins will also be more likely to bring the object back to you for another game,

You shouldn't be playing tug with your dog, IMO, unless the dog has been TAUGHT to give the object back to hand on command, as well as to drop it and take it on command.
If you haven't taught those things as an integral part of tug games, and/or if you can't be sure that the dog will bring the object back to you, you've done it wrong as far as I'm concerned.
And no tugging allowed on the leash, clothes, or body parts.

As far as the leash is concerned, I disagree. If you've taught tug correctly from the beginning- which is as a game that includes/incorporates "Take it", "Leave it", "Pick it up", "Drop", and "Give" - there's no reason not to use the leash in certain circumstances.
For example, MANY agility competitors routinely use braided slip leads to go to and from the ring, and allow the dogs to tug on them before and after runs. I do that both with my Jack Russell and with my lurcher.

For another example, I have specifically and deliberately TAUGHT my Jack Russell to grab her leash - any leash, not just the agility going-to-the-ring one - and tug/shake it as a displacement activity when she feels threatened or challenged by another dog, sees a buddy at the park, wants to go after prey, or is excited and/or impatient to participate in an activity (running agility, going to ground, and so forth).

It's FAR preferable to have her tugging and focused on the leash - and therefore on me - than jumping, lunging, and boinkybarking.

Sarah F.
V-NATCH Brenin, CGC; AD; S-EAC-V, S-EJC-V, O-EGC-V Gwydion, Buddha Cat
Morag Thistledown, Novice and Open Triple Superiors, Novice Versatility, O-TN-N, O-EJC, EAC, EGC
Robyn Roofwalker, Master of Meezer Mischief
Rocsi Cadarn, Novice Triple Superior, TG-N, O-TN-N, O-OAC, S-OJC, OGC, EJC; AG1, OGTG, Jumpers Champion 2003 JRTCA Nat'ls
()
This will do a number of beneficial things for overall behavior, and can even be used with some dogs to cure aggression!

Or...with some dogs, e.g., very dominant dogs, it may make them even more dominant and actually add to your problems.
So, if you have a very dominant dog, and you don't want to take any chances, IMO, you should stay away from tug. Especially if you're a dog novice.
I'll also add my usual caveat to retriever* people who have designs on *competing one day in hunt tests or field trials, or who intend to hunt with their dogs avoid playing tug like you would avoid someone with a dozen sticks of dynamite strapped to his waist.

Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to reply via e-mail
The Perfidious French - "The Iraqi insurgents are our best allies." http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/29325.htm

A Time For Manhood:
http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/26628.htm

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler Little Green Footballs http://nicedoggie.net / http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog / Glenn Reynolds - InstaPundit Mark Steyn http://www.instapundit.com / http://www.steynonline.com / The Belmont Club Michelle Malkin http://belmontclub.blogspot.com / http://michellemalkin.com / Don Luskin Rightwing News http://www.poorandstupid.com/chronicle.asp http://www.rightwingnews.com / The Indepundit Victor Davis Hanson-Private Papers http://www.lt-smash.us / http://victorhanson.com/index.html
Actually, you should always let the dog win,(and praise it veryenthusiastically for winning)

Why? That would take most of the fun out if it for all three of my dogs -they don't want to "win" the object, they want to TUG.

And what? They don't get to tug again if you always let them win? And it's not about "winning the object", it's about winning the game.
I have specifically and deliberately TAUGHT my JackRussell to grab her leash and tug/shake it as a displacement activity when she feels threatened or challenged by another dog, sees a buddy at the park, wants to go after prey . . .

Yes, I'll sometimes break the "no leash" rule and use tugging on the leash as a "displacement", but only until the dog is taught (partially by always winning at tug) to displace his unwanted energy into me and his obedience commands. Once that's done then the dog doesn't feel threatened or want to go after prey, etc.
I don't mind letting the dog carry the leash in his mouth. It's cute.
And it's not about "winning the object", it's about winning the game.

I have proof in my living room every night that this statement isn't true.

Madigan and MacKenzie love to tug. They're evenly matched. They get ahold of a tug object (and anything in the toy box is game to them), and they're both tugging as hard as they can for at least 10 minutes. The growling and woofing sounds fierce. Sometimes Kenzie lays on the floor and lets Madigan drag her all around the room, then she gets up and starts pulling again - but she never lets go. If somebody drops her end (which doesn't happen often), the other one just stops and waits for her to pick it back up again.

When they're tired, they both just drop their ends.

Nobody wins, nobody loses. For them, it's all about the tug.

Madigan will play tug with other dogs, too. But she never pulls as hard as she does with MacKenzie. Sometimes she lets puppies pull her around. Obviously it's not about winning then, either.
Canine Action Dog Trainer
http://www.canineaction.com
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html
Show more