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I have a young high drive dog that was turned into rescue. One of the reasons?...He growled when he tugged. As an agility person Im looking for that drive that "aggression" so to speak. I use tugging for all sorts of things 1) Keeping his attention on me 2) No barking or carrying on while waiting his turn at a sequence 3) Reward for doing something right

4)An object to drive to through weave poles. I dont need it to amp him up he does just fine on his own, but he loves to tug. I also train with self control techniques, watch me excercises, and food reward. I think within agility tugging after a run is a way of redirecting that excitement after, that "come down" if you may. Tugging before a run keeps the dog concentrated on the handler, not the teams running prior to their turn. Tugging can also be used for a dog that although he/she enjoys the game they dont get high about it so they need that ramping up factor, that was my first agility dog. A wonderful boy that would do anything for me but didnt have the afterburners of a over the top dog. So I got him to tug - something he loved to do - and once he was growling barking and tugging I knew we were ready to hit the startline. He loved agility for the ability to play with me and eventually learned to love it for the sake of doing it

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I don't know if this is a trait common in border collies or just unique to Zeb: He thrives on clear communication from me. He may be soft in many ways, but he can take quite a correction and do well with it if it clearly communicates to him that what he did was wrong. Equally, he will do well with rewards if they clearly communicate that he did something right. He will shut down on me if I confuse him.

 

This may be getting off topic but I find exactly the same qualities in Odin. He can generalize well, same command to different situations, or different command signals meaning the same behavior, which I read was terrible training practice because you're supposed to be consistent for your dog to understand. Luckily I've found a breed whose intelligence can make up a lot for my shortcomings and inexperience :D I just have to be clear when I am training the variations, and he loves training. But if I am unclear in what I want, he shuts down completely and might even leave the room. He is very soft and reward focused, but can take a good correction if it shows him what I want. I always think of him as a straight A student - if he feels like he can't get an "A" he starts to go into meltdown mode (my GPA!!!!), because he usually picks stuff up so fast.

 

A funny story (sort of) was when we were at my in-laws house visiting a week ago and there were 3 dogs there: Odin, Margie the dobie, and Vanessa, DH's aunt's little silky terrier. Odin was being "herdy" with Vanessa, which I wasn't going to put up with at all and pulled him out of play for a few times, was throwing leave-it commands (which he usually knows) left and right, etc. He was not taking the point, though. Then he got really excited and bowled her over trying to cut her off from the direction she was running. I immediately grabbed him and used our strongest correction, which means me grabbing his flat collar, lunging-stomping over him with a collar pull and a deep growl. It looks scary, I guess, because the doberman urinated everywhere and went into a barking-growling frenzy until I pet her later, and Vanessa (who had seemed pretty calm following the roll she just took) lept into her mom's lap and was shaking. Odin just sort of stares straight up at me, I swear the look on his face was "Whatever, mom." (He's a teenager, did I mention?) But he immediately shaped up and stopped being such an a** to Vanessa, without me having to modulate his behavior constantly. I felt bad for scaring everyone, but it communicated to him clearly what I was not going to put up with, and it was a much calmer 3-dog environment after that.

 

....

 

To attempt to bring this back around to tugging I'll close with my observation on the catch-your-recalled-dog-with-a-tug concept: again I feel like it is a somewhat good tool for us not to teach the recall itself but to get a rocket recall. He is 100% (only currently, I know I can't really trust him yet) at recall, but in distracting situations he sort of approaches too slowly for my taste, or may go wide instead of straight to me. But when I throw his tug-ball and practice calling him to me on the return (that he would do anyway) he runs right to me and I can grab the tug as he passes my leg and we both think it's fun :rolleyes: I haven't done this very much, by the way, because I think it's pretty intense for his age. He doesn't fling out behind me so much because I run backwards a few steps to lessen the stop, but I can see that flinging catch, if done safely, would be really fun too. But playing this game just a few times, a few reps each time, has really perked up his response for his regular tugless recalls that he is expected to perform anywhere, anytime. This has been a cool thread in that it has made me realize how much I've actually used the tug as a training tool, and not because I know anything about dogsports, but because it is so much fun for us both. I wonder if he'll stay toy motivated as he grows up? Already, I can tell that when he's "working" or playing seriously, a hug or even a pat on the head is the last thing he wants.

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Many flyball dogs are very well trained. My dogs do not go after other dogs, other people or crossover. They come back to me. Riot is just extremely ball obsessed. He also does not go to anyone else that has a ball just the person running him which can change from race to race if needed. We just have to catch him quickly so he does not go shooting off after another ball while in the moment. This is the case with many flyball dogs. They are trained to run to their handler who may not be the owner.

 

A cute tugging story. A lady who plays flyball was staying at a nice hotel while at a flyball tourney. Her dog was extremely tug obsessed but very hard headed on the recall. It was still a young dog. Anyways, while checking in her dog got off the leash and took off running through the hotel. She is calling the dog, yelling, screaming and acting the idiot and the dog was blowing her off. The problem was the dog was heading for a bridal party who were all dressed up on the way to a wedding. The situation was becoming worse. Finally the owner remembered she had a tug with her. She drops all her stuff and grabs a tug. She slams the tug on the ground, calls the dogs name and takes off running away from the dog. The dog came hauling butt to the tug. Disaster was avoided all because of the tug. The owner spent more time on recall work after that...

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To attempt to bring this back around to tugging I'll close with my observation on the catch-your-recalled-dog-with-a-tug concept: again I feel like it is a somewhat good tool for us not to teach the recall itself but to get a rocket recall. He is 100% (only currently, I know I can't really trust him yet) at recall, but in distracting situations he sort of approaches too slowly for my taste, or may go wide instead of straight to me. But when I throw his tug-ball and practice calling him to me on the return (that he would do anyway) he runs right to me and I can grab the tug as he passes my leg and we both think it's fun :rolleyes:

This is a very good example of the use of a tug in Flyball. Speed is very important in this sport and a tug can be used a lot of ways to get more speed from the dog at a given point and with repetition, the dog can learn to do that portion of the flyball run faster.

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I think what Seelie Fey said he trusted his dog to do, in flyball, qualifies as manic drive. I have seen dogs in agility I think qualify as the same.

 

This thread is pretty funny to read through. I know there's a lot of non-flyball folks out there, so as a public service I'd like to mention, yet again, that flyball does not make dogs "manic". Manic by definition suggests that the animal is in an "frenzy or mania uncontrolled by reason" and the reality is completely the opposite. Yes, the dog is happy, super excited (we hope) and ready for the competition, but as Seelie Fey said, the well trained flyball dog is under control at all times and should be a very, very well trained and well adjusted animal. Untrained dogs get kicked out of races and out of control dogs get kicked out of flyball, even banned.

 

Flyball is all about motivation. One of my BC's is getting close to running under 4 seconds and I can't get that by demanding perfect recall at every moment that she is in the ring (both my dogs have a near perfect recall when not racing). I need to hold her once she comes back to me while the race is still going on. She is incredibly excited and jazzed about the race but that's what we want in flyball. The tuggie is a fun and amazing tool for motivating and getting the best out of your dog for racing.

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The old German Shepherd anti-tug handler is gonna try incorporating the tugging thing into obedience class tonight! Can hardly wait to try something new...I'm sorta excited!! :rolleyes: This has been a very interesting and informative thread. Thanks to everyone for their posts.

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I think that there are some misconceptions about working with a stockdog. Because instinct is genetic, and, yes, day one you can see a young pup just go in and start circling and balancing, people tend to think that training a dog to work stock is just a case of let it do its thing, cuz it was bred to do that. And that it's all very easy and so on. It's actually far easier to totally screw up a well bred dog--I see it all the time--due to poor training and handling. If it were that easy to train a stockdog, everyone would be a National Champion. If it were that easy to train a stockdog, the average student who shows up here with a dog who has decent instincts would stick around for more than the usual 6 lessons or so. Why do they quit? Because it's more work than they wanted to do. It's extremely difficult. Now, I'm not saying this is more or less difficult than the training for agility or flyball (I would think, that at least since there is instinct involved, that at the very least getting the dog to want to do it is already taken care of, which is why the tug--now I get it, so I really have come back to the original topic tadaa), I am only saying this to try to dispel some of the notions of "well, you guys have it so easy because the dogs were bred to do that."

 

A

 

Oh, totally. I've done agility and flyball with a couple of my dogs, and stockwork with another. It doesn't even come close to comparison! It's true that I'm not working with a well-bred border collie, so I do have it 'harder' than others, but even so, for anyone to assume that because a dog is born with instinct somehow makes stockwork easier, that's crazy. There is so, so, so much more to it! But, it's also much, much, much more rewarding, to me, at least.

 

Anyway, this has been an interesting thread! Two of my dogs will half heartedly tug with me, but then again I didn't really "work" with them on this, as I really don't care. And I couldn't stand to have one of those tug-crazed dogs that border on out of control in the presence of a tug! In agility or flyball , I believe in using whatever works for your particular dog, whether it's a ball, tug or treats. Alex runs flyball in the low 4s, is fast and ethusiastic in agility and he has perfect recall, I don't have to run him down. All that without tug. :rolleyes: So, whatever works!

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I have 2 cents to add

I tried flyball about 4 times. With a sorta new rescue at the time (he's now 11 and still around)

This dog came with issues. He loved to tug and loved to fetch so I thought maybe flyball would be good for us.

About the 4th time I was there, he was doing pretty good. I used a small floppy frisbee for tugging, his favorite toy. This older man walked by looked at the frisbee and said "if you're not careful he's going to bite your finger off when he reaches out for that "small" frisbee." I said, "thank you" thinking what a jerk to say my dog was going to bite my finger off going for a tug. A few minutes later dog came barreling down the lane I held out the frisbee and he latched on. Well of course my finger was in the way. This dog had a bit of an issue with release so after I finally got him to release, I taped my fingernail back on and queitly packed up my dog and left. Never to try flyball again! Since then it has never been "our game"!!

 

I do tug with Dew, It's our in the house game when I'm to tired to do anything else. I sit on the couch, she brings me a toy and she tuggs till her hearts content while I sit and just hold the toy. So it's not tugging but what you tug for me!

 

one more comment.....Compared to working stock. Working stock takes brainpower compared to flyball, not comparing to agility cause I don't do that but compared to flyball there is no thinking in that game, all prey chase to me.

I can call my dogs off stock anytime I want. They are using their brains and they listen. When I was trying flyball my dog was not using his brain so was not able to "listen" to what I was saying. The difference to me is that manic feeling they seem to have. Like a new dog on stock. How many times does recall go out the window when just starting a dog on stock. Maybe I never got far enough to see that flyball had some control but it was like a green dog not using it's head for us.

 

The dog that I tried on flyball is old and still has issues with releasing a toy. I don't care, we don't work stock. He didn't bite me on purpose but I can tell you I'd never let him come at me with that gleam in his eye looking to grab a toy with that sort of intensity. My finger has never been the same.

HE does play fetch with my daughter but they never get that amped so he's still listening.

 

For stock, I think a well bred dog is easier to train than one with less "stuff". You have to show them what you want but basicly it's in there, with a dog that has no or less talent, you have to put it in there for them. To me, way harder.

I've worked with dogs that weren't bred with work as the frist thing and it's harder for them to understand the concepts that for me, my nicely bred dogs just understand. Not saying they're easy just easier than dogs with less talent.

 

Guess that might have been more than 2 cents but probably worth nothing more.

 

Kristen

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Compared to working stock. Working stock takes brainpower compared to flyball, not comparing to agility cause I don't do that but compared to flyball there is no thinking in that game, all prey chase to me.

I can call my dogs off stock anytime I want. They are using their brains and they listen. When I was trying flyball my dog was not using his brain so was not able to "listen" to what I was saying.

 

Now THAT makes total sense to me! NOW I get it! Thanks.

 

For stock, I think a well bred dog is easier to train than one with less "stuff". You have to show them what you want but basicly it's in there, with a dog that has no or less talent, you have to put it in there for them. To me, way harder.

I've worked with dogs that weren't bred with work as the frist thing and it's harder for them to understand the concepts that for me, my nicely bred dogs just understand. Not saying they're easy just easier than dogs with less talent.

 

Without a doubt.

 

A

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4 weeks does not a flyball dog make. Your dog "bit" you because you set him up for failure. A flyball club teaching a proper class to newbies shouldn't even be putting you and your dog in this situation to start with. It sounds like they didn't even bother to evaluate your dog before hand, as just doing that can take many weeks.

 

Your dog wasn't thinking in flyball because you never trained him to or taught him what he needs to do. It can easily take a year to train up an intelligent dog (I've heard 3 years for some other breeds). It's not a sport you pick up in one weekend. Flyball has about 32 different steps for the dog to learn and many of those are not instinctual for the dog.

 

Rest assured that the dogs that do flyball racing successfully are thinking and do use their brains considerably.

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I have three enthusiastic tuggers. With Bear, I tug with him because he enjoys it (though he just had a root canal and a tooth extraction resulting from an unfortunate fall on his face so tugging is on hiatus). When he competed in flyball, I used the tug for recalls as it made him come back faster. Without a tug, he still came back to my side, but not as fast. When he actually raced (and I use that term loosely as his 8 second laps were hardly what I call racing :D ) I didn't use the tug, I just used another ball.

 

With Wick, I use the tug as both a crutch and a reward. Due to her excessive screaming when she's waiting for her go in agility, I found it easier to stick a tug in her mouth whilst waiting. She spits it out on command, only tugs on command, and when I huck it behind the line when it's our turn, she never gives it a second glance. When she is done her run, she waits for me to pick up her tug (which is also her leash) and then has a rip-roaring time on the tug for about 5 seconds. After that, she wants to go back to the car to have some quiet time. If I had taught her even a modicum of self-control when other dogs are running agility, I only would have to use it for a reward. When we started flyball, I was more firm with her about asking for self-control and she does not bark when racing or waiting her turn. She does recall to her tug, but she also will recall just as fast without it, and since everyone else gets to tug, I figure why deprive her? :rolleyes:

 

Now Lou doesn't do any dog sports, though he has dabbled in flyball and agility training. He LOVES to tug, only does it on command, and spits it out immediately when told "out". There is no earthly reason for this dog to tug, except he enjoys it, and it makes me smile. I even will tug with him a little bit before his turn at a stockdog trial if he seems a little mellow and/or worried. For example, before our first go at the Calgary Stampede, he seemed a little bleh. I hid behind the curtain, away from the other dogs, and got him to tug a bit. I also played slappy-side with him, and even did some shadow handling. Only took a few seconds and then his eyes were bright, his tail was well over his head, and he was dancing around. When he went into the arena,

, dancing around. When we got to the post, he settled right down and was all business. This warm-up technique may be anaethma to some stockdog handlers, but I subscribe to the school of Git Er Done, and if my dog needs to be hyped up a little bit before he works, then that's fine. If he prefers to gallop into the field with his tail above his head, spinning with happiness, that's ok too. He knows his job and he does it pretty well.

 

Oh, and none of my dogs will grab their leash while on a walk. They do not initiate the game, and I am the one to end it. I have been nipped maybe 3 times, and that's before I went to a longer tug.

 

So let's see - is there a point to my rambling? Well, I guess tug is like any other kind of reward, in that it can be used successfully, or it can be used to cover up other training deficiencies. But it's just another tool which you can choose to use or not.

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<snip> It can easily take a year to train up an intelligent dog (I've heard 3 years for some other breeds). <snip>

 

Really? I know every dog works at their own pace, and that's OK, but Alex picked up flyball in few months. It then took another couple of months to fine tune him and get him used to the flyball environment. I don't know, but I would be surprised that it would take a year to train up an intelligent dog. JMO, and I'm no expert by any means.

 

Rest assured that the dogs that do flyball racing successfully are thinking and do use their brains considerably.

 

I love flyball, don't get me wrong, but I'm not so sure how much thinking really goes on. I mean, it's run up, get the ball and come back. And regardless, the level of thinking required for flyball is nothing, and I mean nothing, compared to the thinking a dog does on stock. Apples and oranges.

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Your dog "bit" you because you set him up for failure.

 

HA my dog bit me because i was stupid enough to not use something that was long enough for the dog not to accidentallty get my finger in his mouth. He certainly didn't want to bite me. THe guy that warned me was totally right. I was insulted and took it to mean that my dog would bite me on purpose. Or what ever I thought back then. Looking back, I laugh cause it was my own damn fault. Dog still has a release issue. Oh well, we live with him or at least my daughter does and he's never bit anyone again!

 

And I'm sorry, I've been around flyball for quite some time. No I don't do it. Don't like it. Nothing bad on anyone that wants to do that, it's just not for us and the finger bite just made my mind up that much quicker. I don't think near the brain power is being used for flyball, not even close. It's controled prey chase IMO with the controled part being what you might be training for. My dog was doing the whole thing on the first night, Jumps, ball box and coming back over the jumps. It wasn't hard with the stuff they used to set the course up. I"m sure there are flyball experts out there that will argue with me, No biggie, this is just my opinion.

 

She spits it out on command, only tugs on command, and when I huck it behind the line when it's our turn, she never gives it a second glance. When she is done her run, she waits for me to pick up her tug (which is also her leash) and then has a rip-roaring time on the tug for about 5 seconds. After that, she wants to go back to the car to have some quiet time.

 

Here's even an example of a dog that wants to go back to the car to escape for some queit time. Smart dog.

 

Imagine this

you're at a sheep dog trail, all the competor dogs are lined up along the fence. Some are barking out of control, some are pacing to and fro with all the excitment. Some are being amped up with "tug" or doG forbid frisbee right there at the fenceline with their owner cause their turn is coming up. None are laying quietly waiting thier turn. The excitement is creating a mass of energy all it's own.

Tell me what is not happening in that senario at a flyball tournament? Do any of you keep your dog off in a crate or quietly lying at your side waiting for you turn? The ones I've been to are so loud with energy and barking that my head spins just to stand there.

 

Now who wants to run his dog on the sheep next???

 

I don't care if you like flyball and you do it with your dog, but IMO it is not the thinking thing that stockwork or agility might be. Just not that type game.

 

Sorry if I sound like I'm bashing flyball, I'm not, just not for me! I'm sure you flyball guys can all add to what I know about it or striaghten me out where I"m wrong. I've only been around on the out skirts of practices (the practices were held by where we go to work stock out at Purina Farms) and seen tournments on TV. But The above is true for what I've seen.

 

Kristen

ETA

I was reading more of the responces and realized that I might sound like I think there is no training for flyball at all. I did not mean to say that and I realize that you train your dog to come back to you, release the ball and not attack other dogs even tho they are amped and ready for anything. This might take some work and I'm sure it does but not the same type work as anything remotly related to CALM stockwork.

As I see it, the part that takes training in flyball is the control part.

Not the Go Get The Ball, Bring it Back, Trade me for a Better toy or tug.

It's the training part to play by the rules which are what, Stay in your lane, Jump the jumps, don't attack other dogs, get the ball, bring it back trade me for something else. Drop it and it's over. What am I missing?

 

IF it's your game, good on you! :rolleyes:

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4 weeks does not a flyball dog make. Your dog "bit" you because you set him up for failure. A flyball club teaching a proper class to newbies shouldn't even be putting you and your dog in this situation to start with. It sounds like they didn't even bother to evaluate your dog before hand, as just doing that can take many weeks.

 

Your dog wasn't thinking in flyball because you never trained him to or taught him what he needs to do. It can easily take a year to train up an intelligent dog (I've heard 3 years for some other breeds). It's not a sport you pick up in one weekend. Flyball has about 32 different steps for the dog to learn and many of those are not instinctual for the dog.

 

Rest assured that the dogs that do flyball racing successfully are thinking and do use their brains considerably.

Well said.

 

When Zeb was in the early learning stages, he did get so worked up that he didn't have much control and had a sort of tunnel vision for the tug. I was encouraged by my team to use gloves with him. I don't need them nearly as much now as I did then. He does use his brain now when he runs and doesn't regrip or get my hands anymore. That came with training and time. He had to learn it. I still wear gloves because he's a fast dog that is flying at me for a tug and can still accidentally miss and grab my hand.

 

I've been training Zeb for a year and have worked through various stages that would appear manic or out of control. We have spent a lot of time working on control even with distractions. He will race his first singles tournament in November, but that won't make him a seasoned dog. He will still have another year or so to get experience and improve.

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Really? I know every dog works at their own pace, and that's OK, but Alex picked up flyball in few months. It then took another couple of months to fine tune him and get him used to the flyball environment. I don't know, but I would be surprised that it would take a year to train up an intelligent dog. JMO, and I'm no expert by any means.

There are some exceptions, but the people I respect as mentors say a year and that's what I've seen with my dog and others we're training. Those that can race earlier and have been put in races earlier have had problems - lack of confidence, lack of a box turn, chasing, etc.

Unfortunately, there are teams around here who put their dogs in way too early and I would hate to face them in a race with my green dog. I've spent a lot of time training him to run well and not interfere with another dog and will really be pissed if one of theirs crosses over at him.

At Bishop, one of those dogs crossed over and chased one of our dogs. We're now trying to rebuild his confidence and get him to where he can race with another dog in the next lane.

I'm not saying your dog is one of these, but I will say that he sounds like the exception, not the rule.

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I'm actually considering incorporating tug during obedience class next week (funny, considering I was always anti-tug).

Hi beachdogz,

 

Just thought I'd add my 2 cents to let you know that I tug with my BC in Obedience class....Actually, my instructor recommended it to me after our first class. My dog was 7 months when we started the class; we started out in advanced (I put the basics on him at home - I adopted him at 6 1/2 mos old).

 

Anyway, Binx was great at doing what I asked, but you could see him about to melt with all of the new stimuli (he had never been in a class environment, much less being asked to do new things that required concentration at the same time!).

 

I still use treats for some things, but when our instructor says "release and praise your dogs" - WE TUG! We are the only ones doing it, but Binx loves it. It seems to give his brain a break - it releases some anxiety, and then he can re-focus for the next exercise.

 

Just food for thought - Good luck!

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There are some exceptions, but the people I respect as mentors say a year and that's what I've seen with my dog and others we're training. Those that can race earlier and have been put in races earlier have had problems - lack of confidence, lack of a box turn, chasing, etc.

Unfortunately, there are teams around here who put their dogs in way too early and I would hate to face them in a race with my green dog. I've spent a lot of time training him to run well and not interfere with another dog and will really be pissed if one of theirs crosses over at him.

At Bishop, one of those dogs crossed over and chased one of our dogs. We're now trying to rebuild his confidence and get him to where he can race with another dog in the next lane.

I'm not saying your dog is one of these, but I will say that he sounds like the exception, not the rule.

 

Well, as I said, each dog is different and will progress at their own pace. I certainly acknowledge that, and no big deal if someone takes a year before they take a dog out in the lanes. *shrug* As I said, I make no claims to be an expert. I do agree with you that some people put a dog out there too early, but in my experience also, we've had many dogs trained and racing in a much shorter time frame than you're talking. I guess it just depends on the dog, and I shouldn't have said anything at all about it.

 

And you're right, the type of dog you describe is NOT my dog. :D He learned the game quickly, has a beautiful, consistent box turn and has never crossed over nor chased another dog. Not in practice nor in a tournament. The only trouble he ever had was with the judge's whistle, which is why I said it took a couple of months to get him acclimated to the tournament atmosphere. Once he got used to whistles in practice, he's been great ever since.

 

Oh, yeah. Me brag much? :rolleyes: I love my little guy!

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And you're right, the type of dog you describe is NOT my dog. :D He learned the game quickly, has a beautiful, consistent box turn and has never crossed over nor chased another dog. Not in practice nor in a tournament. The only trouble he ever had was with the judge's whistle, which is why I said it took a couple of months to get him acclimated to the tournament atmosphere. Once he got used to whistles in practice, he's been great ever since.

 

Oh, yeah. Me brag much? :rolleyes: I love my little guy!

Brag away. He sounds like a great little guy!

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Just my 2cents....flyball is about a CONTROLLED CHAOS. You want the dog on the edge of crossing that line of over-excitement but still paying attention to their handler's commands and the rules of the game. I find it funny that so many people misunderstand the concept of flyball - it is not just a bunch of dogs running down a lane and back, there is so much more that goes into a flyball dog, the trainign of a proper swimmers turn, striding, passing , self control excercises, off set work, distraction work etc.

 

My first flyball dog learned flyball in just 3 short months - now this was over 10 years ago and way before the swimmer's turn became the norm. After 3 months she was in her first tournament running in a team line up for the first time - I was lucky - she had no chasing issues and only cared about going down and back to me. Now, I spend countless hours a week training/maintaining my flyball dogs , box work, passing, striding, self control excercises, offset obstacle work, not to mention the maintenance of each dog - cardio work outs, swimming, core strengthening, etc. My dogs are also cross trainers, as they compete in dock diving also - now if you really want a sport that doesn't take much training to get started -there you go!

 

As for tugging, I utilize tugging as an interactive game. Not all my dogs tug in the ring, just Twizzy (staffy) and Gunner (who tugs on a jute folded frisbee). Our younger flyball dogs use balls as their reward - it's all about what works for the individual dog. I also use the folded up jute frisbee for Gunner when we work obedience drills.

 

BTW - this is a great discussion!

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I never understood the tugging when I was IN the sport culture lol. this is the first I have heard of tugging in Agility, when I competed I had never seen anyone tug after agility. I did grow up with it around flyball though..the best I could understand the tug had something to do with having a tie between you and the dog so they didnt go running off wherever after their run. thats what I was told anyway..I never really understood it, Happy was my main compition dog and she has never tugged, nor did she go running off after her run lol.

 

I dont buy the not tugging = not enugh drive one bit, Misty tugs, Happy doesnt..Happy is WAAAYYYYYYY faster, more connected and more drivy then Misty is lol

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I dont buy the not tugging = not enugh drive one bit, Misty tugs, Happy doesnt..Happy is WAAAYYYYYYY faster, more connected and more drivy then Misty is lol

 

It's not that not tugging = not enough drive. It's that tugging can be used as a tool to build drive in specific circumstances.

 

Say a dog does tunnels nicely, but at a moderate pace. One way to build drive is to tug as the dog comes out of the tunnel (I like to throw the toy, have the dog bring it back and then tug, but that's personal preference). When the dog starts to associate the tunnel with the game, the dog will likely start to drive through the tunnel instead of lumbering through.

 

There are some dogs who don't need this sort of thing nearly as much as others. There is nothing in the world that makes Speedy drive into and through a tunnel other than the sheer excitement of going through the tunnel. In Maddie's case, if she liked tug, I could probably get her to drive through tunnels.

 

I don't use the tug with Dean to build drive, but as a powerful reward for correct performance. Once his performance is consistently correct . . . well, we'll see about building drive. Honestly I can't see ever wanting him to run faster than he does already, but some say I'll want him to. If I do, I can use the tug to increase drive - even though to my way of thinking right now he has more than enough!!

 

Like many things, tug is not the be all end all - although some do feel that it is and I respect the standpoint even though I don't personally subscribe to it. But it's darn handy if you have a dog that likes tug.

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Thanks to the OP and everyone who has posted. I've found this thread very interesting. Pip Squeak and I went to our first agility class this week and the instructor asked me if she tugged. I honestly didn't know. Since Pip is a total whore for food OR attention, I have never used tug as a game or reinforcement.

 

I am going to try using tug as an alternate reward but don't want her getting too wound up. Pip has never been in a group class for training so having her quiet and focused on me instead of barking at the other dogs is one of my biggest priorities. She's plenty fast and I don't think adding a tug is going to change that :rolleyes:.

Lisa

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I have really enjoyed lurking on this thread. Usher loves to tug. He used to tug with Bailey, which in itself, was quite fun to watch. Now, with Bliss, the shy, beaten gal, tugging is bringing her out of her shell. She's beginning to enjoy toys and the tugging seems to give her pleasure. So, thank you so much for this thread. I'll continue to lurk.

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I'm getting in on the late end here.. but tugging is a stress reliever also. with my first bc, i was doing obedience, and her breeder ( and trainer) had me keep something on hand that she could tug with. after having to pay attention, and do the thinking part, when we were done a quick game of tug and then back to heeling.

i do agility, and flyball also. in flybal the point is to get your dog to come back to you as fast as possible. using a tug of any sort reels them in! i have tuggers, and non tuggers. being of small stature :rolleyes: and having some good sized boys, i can't always use the tug the way they want. my oldest dog orginally came back to a very strange looking toy- a ball with about 20 rope legs that came out of it. as he flew by me on teh way back, i woudl let go and he would grab the toy in air. another dog, we had a system, he would run past me and then turn to get the tug... i havn't been running him for a while and when i tried again he almost took me out! our young ex marine team member has been running him and he lets him hit the tug hard! my 20 lb dog gets some air when she hits it! my not so interested tugger is ball obsessed! so he comes back to me, and gets another ball and then plays the lets see if i can stuff 2 balls in my mouth game. my youngest is also not tugg obsessed, he would much rathe rhave what ever i have, which turns out to be another ball. i have been playing flyball for almost 12 years now, and it seems that i have more non flyball tuggers now! i did take a dog that had NO recall for training and decided to teach her flyball. i figured if she can play flyball she can learn a recall! and it worked.

in agility i use the leash for tugging, with all except one it is AFTER a good run. my not tug crazy dog will only tug right before we go in teh ring. dont' know why, but makes him happy :D he is also not super excited about agility, he is loving it now but still doens't really understand why we are so happy about it- it just agility afterall. so tugging before hand gets him going :D sheep and flyball are more his speed.

 

a lot of agility people use the tug as a distraction from teh ring. so the dogs isn't watching the other dogs run. i think in some circumstances it actually keys them up more. i just teach my puppies how to behave outside the ring. just like if i were at a trial, if they get too interested, or cause a distraction they just take a break and get a little further away. one of my dogs, took him about 2 years before he could control himself around a ring.

 

kelli

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