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Thread: Painful Tug of War

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    Newbie Derby's Avatar
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    Default Painful Tug of War

    Derby (about 9 weeks old, but a pretty big girl) loves playing tug of war and it seems like that's just a bulldog thing. We like playing it with her, but a lot of times she'll jump and lunge at the rope/rag if she accidentally lets go, and sometimes she accidentally grabs onto our arms or legs instead. Those sharp teeth draw blood! It's not too big of a deal now, but I worry about her lunging after kids' toys or this happening when she's bigger and doing a lot more harm. Does their aim get better as they get older? :-p I love playing that with her and would hate to have to stop. And I think she would keep playing on her own anyway :-p Do you guys play tug of war with your bullies?

    Also, she just loves biting our hands in general! We have tons of toys for her that she loves, but when she gets hyper she tries her hardest to get our hands even when we're shouting "No!" and replacing them with a toy. We have rubber toys, bones, frozen toys for teething, soft toys, etc. Any advice for the mom of a human hand loving puppy?

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    Default Re: Painful Tug of War

    Yes, her aim will get a little better as she gets older. Careful with the ropes, as they love to chew them and can choke on them. Plus pups do love to bite hands and feet. Just keep offering a chew toy when they do, and eventually they will grow out of this.
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    Default Re: Painful Tug of War

    As David said.... aim will get better and when she does go to chew on human instead of a toy -- redirect her to a toy or bone. Also, a great redirect/training tool is a squirt bottle with water... when she is doing something you disagree with... a squirt to the face with a firm 'NO' or 'leave it' and she will be trained not to do so rather quickly.

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    Default Re: Painful Tug of War

    @Derby I feel your pain as we just got Harlea who is 8 weeks old and going through the same thing. All of us in the family keep a toy within arms reach should her aim be off or she just gets her shark teeth going too quickly. For us she loves to nibble on our ears yet will only lick our feet and not try to bite them. Which to me seems odd. Keep up with a firm no and redirecting with another toy and they will eventually get the hang of it.

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    Default Re: Painful Tug of War

    Quote Originally Posted by Derby View Post
    Derby (about 9 weeks old, but a pretty big girl) loves playing tug of war and it seems like that's just a bulldog thing. We like playing it with her, but a lot of times she'll jump and lunge at the rope/rag if she accidentally lets go, and sometimes she accidentally grabs onto our arms or legs instead. Those sharp teeth draw blood! It's not too big of a deal now, but I worry about her lunging after kids' toys or this happening when she's bigger and doing a lot more harm. Does their aim get better as they get older? :-p I love playing that with her and would hate to have to stop. And I think she would keep playing on her own anyway :-p Do you guys play tug of war with your bullies?

    Also, she just loves biting our hands in general! We have tons of toys for her that she loves, but when she gets hyper she tries her hardest to get our hands even when we're shouting "No!" and replacing them with a toy. We have rubber toys, bones, frozen toys for teething, soft toys, etc. Any advice for the mom of a human hand loving puppy?
    Crying out "ow" seemed to work better for us than "no" when Matilda was a vicious little meatball. She still occasionally will miss her toy and nip us, but a quick "ow", and she feels awful and will stop all play to check on you and give kisses! haha it gets better!

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    Default Re: Painful Tug of War

    Kiah is 2.5 yrs old now and her previous owners never taught her bite inhibition. Needless to say we spend a lot of time working on it. I dont mind her mouthing, but I had to work on the pressure. Once she starts to get over excited and nips harder, first I use the "OW" technique. It works about half the time. Next is "Be nice!". This one works 75% of the time and she goes from biting to licking. This is more of a body language trick. Shift your energy from playful to affectionate. I use that command when we are out walking and people want to meet her. Lastly, if she is really mouthy and wont listen, get up and walk away, completely ignoring her. I know it sounds mean, but she will associate the unaceptable hard play to the session ending. I rarely have to use the 3rd technique anymore, she is getting it. Before we started the inhibition training, she would not play with toys. Now she will chase them down and bring it back to me for more. This lasts about 10-15 minutes and then we will wrestle a bit. Working in the same techniques. If she gets too excited and goes for my goatee or ears, face is a giant no no, playtime is immediately over. A few weeks ago she got too excited and a tooth touched my cheek. She immediately stopped on her own, walked to her bed and put her head down.

    Above all else, make sure that you initiate and end playtime. Kiah will walk up to me and bow, then give me a small muzzle punch indicating she is ready to go. I will ask her to sit, wait for the calmness then I will play bow/charge. She can be very pushy so she has to work for everything.

    Good luck!!
    Last edited by Bullyproof; 07-02-2013 at 10:10 AM.
    Everyday I see an improvement. Everyday she respects and trusts me even more. I'm honored that she chose me...


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    Default Re: Painful Tug of War

    Tubby is a tug of war fanatic. He will walk over and drop his rope toy on my foot and look at me like "come on mom" lol I make Tubby sit first to let him know I am in charge of the game. I have to agree with David be very careful with rope toys. We had gone away for the weekend and left Tubbs with my brother with some toys including his rope toy. When we went to pick him up he wasn't acting like his usual self. I didn't get a butt wiggle or anything. I was devasted, I thought he hated me. Next morning I wake up to find a lovely pile of puke with a big piece of his rope in it. Now he only gets a rope toy under careful supervision.


    As for the aim it gets better but some times Tubbs will jump for the toy and land on me leaving my legs black and blue from having 50 lbs landing on me lol

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    Rescue Volunteer Rural mystic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Painful Tug of War

    I agree with davidh their aim does get better but at the same time their jaw crushing power get more intense. Ace while playing will still try to get a better grip on whatever we are playing with, ball, tug toy etc and you better be quick and cautious because without intent to do bodily harm it would easily be possible. But he no longer tries to grab me its simply the object and getting a better grip on he is trying to get to. As to the ropes again I agree with davidh. My wife bought one of these huge multi colored braided ropes with the big knots in it for Ace to play with and pull and he liked it but this week I took it away from him. I noticed on two occassions over a few weeks period that he was a bit more straining when passing his poop and on each occasion I found muti colored twine and rope in his poop so I took it away.

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    Default Re: Painful Tug of War

    Thank you guys so much for the advice!! We're starting to say "be nice" now when she's biting us and then rewarding her when she starts licking instead, so I'm sure that will help with that. She learns super quickly, but is still definitely stubborn when she wants to be! She learned "sit" her first day home and does it wonderfully... when she wants to ;-) She's getting better, though! And we've started making her sit each time she loses her grip on the toy during tug of war and wait for us to give it back, so that has mostly cut out the lunging and missing. Thank you guys for the help!

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