Posts Tagged ‘tug’

brown dog tugs

In this post I demonstrate how to use the tug toy as a means to connect with your dog and to help release stored up stress.  It is designed to keep the flow of energy moving so it don’t get stuck, and to bring fear to the surface so the dog can process it better.

Although I use the example of Lola being attracted to the power truck out on the road, this exercise is designed to answer the question that all dogs ask..what do I do with my energy,..regardless of it is a person, dog, or squirrel that your dog becomes attracted to,.. this is how you can get them to give their energy to you.

For more information about playing tug with your dog click here,.. Play Tug

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tug of war reuse

I am sure you have probably heard from one trainer or the other that you should not play tug of war with your dog.

Some trainers say you can play tug with your dog but you must never let them win.

 

What I teach people about playing tug of war with their dogs is in direct contradiction to the thinking of conventional dog training. I play the game based on the premise that all the things your dog does has a direct connection to their prey drive and their desire to hunt, and the more value an object has, the more attracted and emotional your dog becomes when they see that object, and if your dog catches, bites and eats that object then there is a certain amount of stress relief that the dog will experience.

Let’s examine this for a moment..

For the sake of argument let’s place a dollar value to some of the prey items your dog finds valuable..with regard to how emotional energized and attracted your dog will be to each object.

When a dog sees a mouse scurry through the grass, he might become attracted and give chase..and while it is fun to stalk and pounce on a mouse and eat it..the dollar value to your dog is about 1 Canadian dollar.. or as we call it..a loonie.

That’s cool, your dog experiences a small reduction in stress levels, and your dog will most likely do it again if he sees a mouse.

Later that afternoon your dog sees a rabbit, or a squirrel, now things are heating up..he gives chase and if he catches the squirrel or rabbit and eats it.. he experiences a bigger rush of “good feelings” and stress reduction, and that is like depositing 10 loonies or so in the dogs emotional doggie bank.

The next day your dog sees a moose, suddenly every nerve in his body lights up with an emotional charge like nothing he has experienced up to this point.. in terms of money..he has just seen 10 million loonies worth of energy and emotion head off into the brush..and if he could only catch the moose and eat him..his stress would totally disappear and he would be the happiest dog on the planet.

You can see how it would benefit you as a dog owner to learn how to be the moose in the eyes of your dog,.. you don’t want to be the mouse, or the rabbit or squirrel, those prey items are fun but don’t attract your dogs emotions and, feelings like a moose, buffalo, or caribou would.

One of the ways you can begin to be the moose is to play tug of war with your dog, the only thing is you must ALWAYS let your dog win..no exceptions.

Here is a step by step guide to playing tug of war with your dog

1. Don’t stand face to face with your dog or smile a lot,.. humans are the top predators and this posture and showing your teeth will make your dog defensive and we want him to be in prey drive, so stand sideways, don’t smile, and don’t look him in the eye.

2. Get two tug toys…I like to use two foot lengths of rope tied in many knots. Put one in your back pocket or tuck it under your arm so you will have one to play with and get your dogs attention when your he or she don’t want to bring the one they have back..when your dog drops the one he has and turns his attention to you..tug and pull with him and when he runs off with that one, pick up the one he dropped and begin the game again.

3. With your dog on a 30 foot long line begin the game slowly, stay relaxed, make sure there are no other distractions, like other dogs playing or kids running around, and be sure to be on your game and paying attention..this game requires your dog to bite hard and if they miss the toy..you might get bit..but if you are careful, this doesn’t have to happen… tease your dog with the tug and entice him to bite it..this might take some time especially with nervous, timid dogs who have built up anxiety and stress..but keep at it..act like the mouse or the rabbit…run away waving the tug, lay down and roll around like a prey animal, and keep teasing your dog with the tug..he will bite it at some point.

4. Amp up your emotions and use your voice to get your dog into prey drive..say things like..” Get it boy”, Sic a hold on it,” or” bite that thang.”

5. If your dog starts to growl a lot then that is not a good thing, this means your dog is afraid he is going to lose the war..so you should quickly let him win.

Winning means he gets to run away with the toy.

A little growling is o,k. just don’t let things get out of hand.

6. When your dog bites on the tug, pull smoothly, don’t jerk hard,,and keep the play session short so your dog don’t get bored..once you have reached a place where your dog is pulling and biting hard try to time it so you release the toy when your dog tugs hard on it..so that to your dog is seems like he earned it and you are not just giving in to him..they can tell the difference.

7. When you are ready to end the game, have a piece of chicken some tasty treat in your pocket, take it out and offer it to your dog, they will take the treat and you can gather up the tug toys..and put them away until the next time you want to work with your dog.

* It is important that the game ends with you having possession of the toys, once you get home put the toys away out of sight of your dog until the next time you bring them out to play.

There you have it, if you have any questions about how to play tug of war to engage your dogs prey drive, tell me about it in the comment section below, thanks for visiting my blog and make sure to come back often.

All the best,

Harley

 

 

 

How To Raise A Bombproof Puppy

Posted: February 21, 2015 in Puppy Training
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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Listen, do you hear that?

Scratch, scratch, ah-oooh!

That’s the sound of your new puppy searching for answers.

Scratch, scratch, scratch.

You are beginning to realize that raising a puppy is damn hard work, and you are worried about getting it right. After all you don’t want to make any mistakes and end up with a dog that get’s into trouble.

I know you want the best for your puppy but you worry that you won’t have time for obedience classes, and proper exercise, and all the information you searched out on the internet has only left you more confused.

One trainer says you have to teach your pup that you are the boss. Never let her go in or out the door before you, and if she is disobedient then toss her on her side and pin her to the ground until she submits to your Alpha status. Another says to give your pup a cookie when she is doing what you want, and ignore her when she is being bad.

What if I told you that all these trainers are wrong.

What if I told you that there’s a better way to make sure you never make any mistakes with training you new puppy, well maybe minimal mistakes, that are very easy to correct and have no negative emotional effect on your fuzzy faced friend, and takes up very little of your valuable time.

Lots of new dog owners face these same struggles, but the ones who succeed are the ones that found a coach that understands what they are going through, because they have a long history of raising puppies and have proven that they can raise happy and well-adjusted puppies into adult dogs.

Three Important Principles to Remember When Training a Puppy

There is much more to understanding the best ways to raise and train a puppy, and if you want to know more you can always contact me through the comment section below, but for now I will outline three of the main things to remember.

#1. The most important thing is to teach your pup what to do with all that energy.

Your new pup is full of vim and vigor and has a relentless need to sniff, taste, and see all the things in her environment. What is important for you to remember is that while physical exercise is a must, it is even more critical for you to provide emotional exercise for your pup, and one way to drain her energy is to play games that engage her prey drive, games like tug of war, and pushing. Be sure to follow the links to find out exactly how to do each exercise.

Important to note: When playing tug of war with your pup, go easy on her little teeth, just hold onto the tug toy and let her do the pulling. Tug is a great way to re-direct her from biting and mouthing things she shouldn’t. The same goes for pushing,. at first you should just apply a little resistance, and as she grows she will become more enthusiastic for the push. The pushing technique demonstrates what the little girl experienced with her Mama when she struggled against her litter mates to get a drink of life-giving milk. Pushing with your pup will help you stay bonded with her in much the same fashion as she did with her Mother.

These exercises should be done with your pup on a long line, for her protection, just drop the line and forget about it, and focus on having fun with your pup. Encourage your pup to chase you around the yard or follow you for tasty treats.

By tapping into your pups natural prey drive, or the desire to chase and bite things, you can connect with your pup on an emotional level, and build a strong foundation that will help to ensure your pup is attracted to you in times during their life when things get intense in the human world they live in.

#2. Teach Your Pup How To Relax

The next thing you will want to do is to make sure your pup has plenty of time to just lie around doing nothing. There is going to be times when her energy is high, and times when it is low, and by taking the time to structure these times so her behavior is shaped in accordance to these arcs will go a long way toward having the kind of success you want.

One way to do this is to try your best to make sure all her high energy activities are done outside, don’t be concerned about obedience at this point there will be plenty of time for that later on. Right now you want to focus on teaching her when and where to let her energy out, and when and where she should relax.

When she is inside, this is the time to relax and just chill, this is the time to give her a bone to chew on, or gently massage and soften her muscles into a fluffy lump of relaxation.

#3. Guard Your Pup From Stress, and Resolve it When it Happens

Your pup is going to absorb stress during the day just by virtue of being alive.

You will want to observe how her experiences in the world make her feel,  and you will get to know when your pup is stressed because her behavior will reflect her emotional turmoil.

She might run hog-wild around the house, barking or growling, she may even be submissive, or become physically tense. This means that you have exposed her to things she can’t handle, and you will want to try to not let things go that far again.

Tips For Preventing Stress In Your Puppy

1. Instead of taking your pup down town on busy streets, take her for a walk though the woods or in a quiet park.

2. Dog parks are bad business for puppies, instead get to know other like-minded people who have pups around the same age as yours and arrange play dates.

3. Get to know the signs that your pup needs some rest, and don’t fall into the trap that says you have to keep your pup busy with training and socialization., rest, relaxation, and following this simple outline without placing demands on your pup is more important at this stage.

4. Consider each activity that you are going to expose your pup to and ask yourself if this is going to produce stress for your pup, and keeping in mind that anything done inside is going to be more intense for your pup than it is for you, and if the answer is yes, then consider your alternatives.

For example if you are having friends over, it would help your pup if you met them outside, or even go for a short walk around the block together. Another example would be if you are going down town to shop, it would be better if your pup stayed behind in her crate, with a tasty bone to chew on.

How To Resolve Stress In Your Pup

All that energy has to go somewhere and if you want your pup to stay in that emotional flow then you have to give that energy direction. The exercises I outlined above, pushing and tug of war will certainly release any stored up stress your pup might have, and all you need to do is re-direct your pup onto one of these more positive outlets for their energy.

So, congratulations on your new pup, and remember you are not in this alone, if you have questions please let me know what they are in the comment section below, and I will be happy to answer them for you.

You can get some more great dog training tips that will improve your dogs behavior when you follow this link

5 Tips To Improve Your Dogs Behavior Starting Today

All the best,

Harley