If Your Dog Tugs at Home But Not at Trials – Bad Dog Agility Academy

If Your Dog Tugs at Home But Not at Trials

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  • Pam Johnson says:

    Can you give me some ideas on how to be able to “tone-down” my interaction and still get my dog to tug? I have been working on tugging off and on since I got my puppy, and she’s 3 now. She does tug when Im growling at her, pushing her and being very active and moving a lot, and will even tug at a trial if am doing it this way. If I tone my actions down (as in trying not to be rude around others), she’s just not interested-even when I attempt “quieter” at home. She’s a soft mal/bc cross.

  • Dee says:

    If I have treats anywhere on me, my dog will not tug. she’s 5 years old and we have just gotten to a place where tugging is fun (at home), but at trials she has been accustomed to treats being our go to. I want to transition to tugging at trials/ training. She’s definitely super food motivated. Got everything you said in this video, but am wondering if you have any special advice for this situation? As I write this, I am thinking, OK start at home with treats in pocket but play tug and move forward slowly from that point on??? tks.

    • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

      In this case, I would use this strategy: prepare a bowl of food or treats that is in view of the dog, put it down on a counter or chair or floor but don’t let the dog get it, and take the dog to the next room over, or further away from the food, maybe on leash.

      Try tugging, when you get a moment of good tugging, mark it with a click or a “yes!” and let the dog go and get the food bowl. Do this every day, just once a day. By the end of the week, your dog should instantly offer tugging in order to get that food, and you can move the bowl of food into the same place you are tugging (make sure your dog can’t reach it or knock it down, etc).

      The second week, start loading your pockets with good treats and let them see you do it. Also keep loading the bowl. And don’t reward from your pocket, only use the bowl. So the dog will learn to ignore treats in the pocket and generally be surprised to get any from there, if the bowl has also been loaded.

      In trials, you will use a loaded bowl and place it at the finish gate, although you can eventually transition to loading it at the crate and leaving it there.

      You want to start at the end, the finished product, which is what you will do at trials, and work backward from there to get to that point in training, and then always do that routine to set expectations and condition your dog to the routine.

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