Teaching tug/fetch to new puppy

  • Teaching tug/fetch to new puppy

    Posted by Cody on January 12, 2022 at 11:32 AM

    Duke, my 6mo hound mix rescue, has been with me for about three weeks now. He’s getting very solid on sit, recall, leave it, etc. I want to teach him fetch and tug as healthy and active bonding techniques. I’ve watched robert’s videos on teaching tug, fetch, and teaching a “hold”. Should I teach a proper hold before doing anything else? Or should I start with a two ball activity to build drive? My pup has a difficulty actually biting the toy I’m playing with. He nips, tries to chew, etc but won’t really hold it unless he’s running around shaking it for a minute. Purchased the K9 tug from the recommended products section of Robert’s website and tried introducing it today. Duke wouldn’t bite and hang on. Also, he kept biting my hands instead of the toy, which concerned me. I wouldn’t typically think anything of it, but in several videos Robert mentions that a healthy, good dog won’t typically bite your hands when playing with the tug. Looking for some insight for all these issues, and wondering if it’s too early for me to introduce tug since I haven’t been with the pup long and don’t really know if he has underlying aggression or nervous issues. Only time I’ve seen behavior like that was when I tried taking a marrow bone from him (I introduced the bone incorrectly and it only happened once) and possibly when he sees other dogs (can’t tell if it’s aggression or play mode). Sorry for the long-winded question, but trying to figure out these things before moving forward with these fun games.


    Gene replied 2 years, 3 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Gene

    January 12, 2022 at 5:02 PM

    I’m not sure what videos you watched for tug. The ones with Rio and Goofy may not apply in your case. These guys already have a high drive. There is one with Ziggy, a Mal with not too much of a drive for tug so he had to be “taught” how to play. Also one with Duane how the drive was put into him from about 10 weeks old. So make sure you watch those. So it appears you may have to start from scratch. Maybe you are “feeding” him the tug.

    As far as biting the hand I would give an AAEEH! and turn my back and playtime is over for a few minutes (no correction) then resume. I seem to remember that Robert doesn’t like the yelling part but it has worked for me so I use it and do 10 push-ups as punishment.

    As far as the resource guarding tether him to say the kitchen table put his bowl down and go stand next to it see how he reacts, lower your hand.

    I’m forgetting where I am at. Maybe he just has bad manners with other dogs. See if you can find someone with a balanced dog and see how he does. He may need some leash reactivity work.

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