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I have been using a tug similar to this rubber tug it works well but it really is not long enough to keep my fingers out of Rievaulxs mouth when he gets over enthuastic. I would like to find something made of rubber that is longer. I have posted before about not using rope in my dog toys, so although we have a garage full of potential tugs, due to my husbands work rope can not be a dog toy. I have tried a fleece/tennis ball combination but it had a very limited life.

Any suggestions?

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I have been using a tug similar to this rubber tug it works well but it really is not long enough to keep my fingers out of Rievaulxs mouth when he gets over enthuastic. I would like to find something made of rubber that is longer. I have posted before about not using rope in my dog toys, so although we have a garage full of potential tugs, due to my husbands work rope can not be a dog toy. I have tried a fleece/tennis ball combination but it had a very limited life.

Any suggestions?

 

Sixteen inches isn't long enough?

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Are you considering fleece the same as rope?

 

If not, you can buy fleece in a craft store, cut it into strips, knot it, braid it very tightly, and knot the other end.

 

If the fleece doesn't do it for him, you could make a braided fleece "handle" for the rubber tug to give yourself as much room as you need.

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I can't help you toy suggestions, but I have found in general that when my dogs get excited in a game of tug they tend to reach as close to my hands as possible, no matter how long the toy.

 

I've also found this to be true.

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I can't help you toy suggestions, but I have found in general that when my dogs get excited in a game of tug they tend to reach as close to my hands as possible, no matter how long the toy.

 

Ditto. And we stop as soon as the teeth touch skin, however that still doesn't seem to make a difference next time.

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I've found that pulling up slightly on the tug as we play helps keep the teeth away from my fingers.

 

Also, letting go when the teeth get too close helps. But that might be individual to my dog. He brings it right back to me when I let go and the game is "reset". With a dog that would make off with the tug I probably wouldn't do that.

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I have been using a tug similar to this rubber tug it works well but it really is not long enough to keep my fingers out of Rievaulxs mouth when he gets over enthuastic. I would like to find something made of rubber that is longer. I have posted before about not using rope in my dog toys, so although we have a garage full of potential tugs, due to my husbands work rope can not be a dog toy. I have tried a fleece/tennis ball combination but it had a very limited life.

Any suggestions?

 

Dogs can get so excited about tug games, but I feel that they have to be taught proper "tug manners". I do agility and a lot of agility people play tug as a way to interact with their dogs more closely than tossing a toy or even giving treats. A couple of trainers have emphasized to me the importance of teaching tug manners. First - the dog should never put his teeth on your hand when you present the tug (they need to control their excitement) and Second: the dog should "drop it" -- you should not have to forcibly pull the tug out of their mouth.

 

I generally use a fleece tug toy, BUT I only tug with it. After tugging games, it gets put away. Torque is not allowed to have a "private party" with his fleece tug. (He grasps the fleece tug between his front feet and proceeds to rip it apart systematically.) I learned the hard way after he passed pink and purple bits of fleece in his feces.

 

Jovi

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Tube socks--tie a couple knots in them and they are great tug toys. You can get them at the dollar store. Star would also get my hand sometimes and I would yell, "Ow" with a sad look on my face. That stopped her cold and she rarely gets me now. Since she has a hard time parting with her toys when I tell her to "Let me have it", I also make sure to say tug when I start the game with her so she knows there is a difference. I think that's finally sunk in.

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I attended a seminar by Denise Fenzi that included a portion about how to get dogs tugging, and she showed us that the presentation makes a difference. She had us hold them horizontally with our hands folded over the ends. It seems the dogs see hands and grab it more appropriately and seldom nail fingers, even when hyped up. It really worked.

 

off topic: I loved that seminar, highly recommend her for anyone who plays dog games. She had a good understanding of how to instill play drive with toys and use it to get a happy working dog, and a lot of helpful common sense training info. She got dogs who never even thought about chasing a toy or tugging playing in one day and I picked up 3 or 4 insta "oh, DUH" gems about my own handling and training.

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I also find that no matter how long or short the tug is my dog will work her way up it 'till she's a couple of inches from my hand. I don't mind - she knows any contact between teeth and flesh is verboten. She learned by the standard route - teeth touch skin, owner howls like a banshee, puts tug away and doesn't "speak" to dog for at least 10 minutes.

 

I make my own tugs by braiding strips torn from polyester sheets from the thrift store. Sturdy, washable, and strong.

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Clean Run has several very good tugs you might want to check out. I agree with the others, a truly enthusiastic tugger will keep working his way up to your fingers. For teeth on human flesh, I used a technique from a Shutzhund DVD. I marked any bite with a sharp word, stopped the game, then turned my back on the dog for 10 - 20 seconds and ignored him. Then I turned back, offered the tug for play and resumed the game. This was very effective back when I was using the tug as a reward during obedience training. Quinn quickly learned he had to be mindful of my hands.

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I also taught Rig that the crunchy bits are out of bounds. I can use a 6 inch tuggie and my fingers are safe. They have fast enough reflexes to be able to not bite hands. It became a priority to train no crunchy bits, and he's got it down pretty good.

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I use tugs made by Helping Udders and now that I've found them won't go back to anything else. The human end and the dog end are shaped differently and the dogs seem to know which end is theirs and stay there. I've never seen the shark-working-its-teeth-up-the-tug behavior with this style.

 

I especially like this one for my "enthusiastic" tugger - saves wear and tear on my aging joints:

 

cowbungeenewani2.gif

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Thanks for everyones suggestions, I have tried fleece and it had a very low survival rate and I have stayed away from anything made from "human" grade fabric, so he does not learn that he can chew and attack it, so far he has stuck to rubber type dog toys, and other than the edge of a carpet our house survived puppyhood.

 

I only play tug when training for agility and I use it has a reward/break before, during and after training. I also do the human yowl when the shark teeth reach me, what I am trying to do is balance enthusiasim for the game with keeping my fingers attached. Upsetting me can partially shut Rievaulx down, he has the potential to be a soft dog.

 

This one is perfect, thanks I am going to order one.

 

I use tugs made by Helping Udders and now that I've found them won't go back to anything else. The human end and the dog end are shaped differently and the dogs seem to know which end is theirs and stay there. I've never seen the shark-working-its-teeth-up-the-tug behavior with this style.

 

I especially like this one for my "enthusiastic" tugger - saves wear and tear on my aging joints:

 

cowbungeenewani2.gif

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I forget who it was on this board that suggested old blue jeans -- they rolled them up and sewed the ends as a "chewy" I think...I just cut the legs off and tied one knot...nice cheap tug toy, though DH wondered what happened to his favorite pair of old jeans.

 

(He's also going to wonder what happened to his light quilted jacket....I laid it on top Robin's crate intending to put it away in the "winter coat" closet in the mudroom (which is behind Robin's crate) and never got around to it and yesterday I discovered that in his idle hours, Robin had tugged various parts of it through all of the air vents in the back of his crate and chewed on it ....some things are better not confessed... as Robin and I are both at fault :rolleyes:.

 

At any rate, the jeans do make a nice durable tug toy....as for destroying the tugs when left to their own devices, we pick up all of these kinds of toys when we're done playing to avoid "discussions" over whose is whose. We just leave out a few squeaky toys - all the same kind -- and plenty of bones.

 

I do like the picture posted of the tug toy!

 

Liz

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I only play tug when training for agility and I use it has a reward/break before, during and after training. I also do the human yowl when the shark teeth reach me, what I am trying to do is balance enthusiasim for the game with keeping my fingers attached. Upsetting me can partially shut Rievaulx down, he has the potential to be a soft dog.

 

How enthusiastic is he about tugging? If he is really into it, then a non-emotional consequence of delaying the game like I described shouldn't shut him down after he figures out the rules. Quinn is so high drive in some activities like play that he's quite tough about corrections. I could be bleeding profusely and moaning loudly and I doubt he'd care. What kills him is the stopping of the game. I don't put any emotion into the correction, though I do say "no" sharply (not loudly) before turning my back. The "no" is to mark the behavior that is bringing about the consequence. When I turn back to him, we are immediately back into play mode, both of us having fun.

 

I think even a sensitive dog can learn to not be shook up by a fair correction, especially when they see it isn't the end of the world and you aren't holding a grudge. If you are worried about demotivating during agility training, you could teach the rules of safe tugging separately from agility. Then once he has learned how to tug less painfully and that your correction is just information, he'll be ok with it during training.

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Upsetting me can partially shut Rievaulx down, he has the potential to be a soft dog.

 

I use a Doggie Zen approach when it comes to teaching a dog to mind my fingers on a tug or ball. I don't shriek or anything, and I don't ignore the dog at all (I'm not saying that's "bad", but it's definitely not my style). When the teeth approach my hand, the game stops. I keep my hand on the toy, but I hold it perfectly still. The dog is allowed to try different things to try to get the game going, but the game doesn't start again until the dog lets go of the toy. Once the dog lets go, I invite the dog to start playing again. I do this every time the teeth get too close to my hand. Granted, I do teach this game with treats first, so they tend to catch on fast.

 

This worked well with Dean, who can be a very enthusiastic tugger. He had no sense of where his own teeth were when we first adopted him and this game really helped him get that idea.

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I use a Doggie Zen approach when it comes to teaching a dog to mind my fingers on a tug or ball. I don't shriek or anything, and I don't ignore the dog at all (I'm not saying that's "bad", but it's definitely not my style). When the teeth approach my hand, the game stops. I keep my hand on the toy, but I hold it perfectly still. The dog is allowed to try different things to try to get the game going, but the game doesn't start again until the dog lets go of the toy. Once the dog lets go, I invite the dog to start playing again. I do this every time the teeth get too close to my hand. Granted, I do teach this game with treats first, so they tend to catch on fast.

 

This worked well with Dean, who can be a very enthusiastic tugger. He had no sense of where his own teeth were when we first adopted him and this game really helped him get that idea.

 

 

Reading this reminded me of something else I picked up from Denise Fenzi, she gets the dogs to learn that a moving tug toy should be tugged, and as soon as its still they are to let go. It makes it easy to start/stop the game and also cuts back on chomped fingers.

 

I wish I could remember more...at the time I had seen her my dogs were good tuggers so I was only mildly interested in that part of her presentation, but it was amazing how she had these dogs whose owners wouldn't tug with them suddenly tugging well and being controlled.

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I use tugs made by Helping Udders and now that I've found them won't go back to anything else. The human end and the dog end are shaped differently and the dogs seem to know which end is theirs and stay there.

 

I like the looks of this tug toy for general tugging. It looks to be durable too. How much does it stretch?

 

Torque likes to "fly". When I am playing tug with him, I say "Wanna fly? Wanna fly?" and then will use both hands to pick him up while he clamps down on the tug hard! and twirl him around a few feet. I think he likes it - at least he keeps the tug in his mouth & still wants to tug after he flies!

I need a non-stretchable tug for this. (Please note: Torque is probably never more than 6-12 inches off the ground since I am not that tall, nor that strong.)

 

Jovi

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I, too, went on the search for the longest tug ever when I got sick of Secret biting my hands.

 

What ended up working the best for us, though, was a Kong Wubba. She wants the squeaky end and that's all she goes for, leaving my hands free to hold onto the other end. So far, I don't think she's really missed.

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I like the looks of this tug toy for general tugging. It looks to be durable too. How much does it stretch?

It stretches a lot, but they make a variety of non-stretching versions if you prefer. The rubber parts (where your hand and the dog's mouth go) are very durable, but I found that the bungee part eventually wore out. I just went to the hardware store and bought more bungee (sold by he foot) to replace the original. Be sure to study how it's put together before you take it apart to replace the old bungee (voice of experience...).

 

The rubber parts are actually the thing that attaches a milking machine to the udder of a cow - they're even recycled, having already served the farmer. Most dogs LOVE them. You can buy just the rubber thing (no one seems to know the correct name for them) by itself, which is what I prefer for an agility tug, where you are just using the tug for brief spurts as a reward during training. It's easy to toss too.

 

At our house cow-a-bungee is reserved for playtime, when tugging is an activity in itself.

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