Archive for tug

Training Makes Me LOUD

Posted in dog training, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , , , , on April 28, 2010 by rattlerjen

Mom got me some new big boy tugs today.

As soon as she took them out of the box, I went crazy.  Bark, bark, bark!

Gimmie those things.  Bark, Bark, Bark.

Biting down on them was really easy.  I could really get a GRIP!

Gimmie the tug!

Oh, and they were really fun to pull on.  You should have seen how well I could dig in and pull!  I nearly pulled Mom and Dad over.  Ha ha ha!

The Tug!  Want TuhhhhhhhhhhhhhGH!

Oh, and when I was playing today, I shook my head around real hard and won the tug!  Then they put me in this box.

I want OUT and I want TUG TUG TUG!


One Pound of Bacon Fat

Posted in dog training, life with a working dog, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2010 by rattlerjen

I am often very proud of my little dog.  He is very quick to figure out new things.

Today, Grom wandered into a big plastic box to explore its interior.  I told him what a good boy he was for going in to such a confined space.  You never know when a lost person will shelter in a small cave or something to stay out of the elements.  I need my little guy to have no problems checking out scary new places.

I wanted him to go in again and introduce him to taking directions.  Having no treats around, my bad, I threw a penny in the box to get his attention.  Curious as a cat, he trots right back in the box as I give him a sweeping hand signal.  A little bit of snorting and wiggling of his furry black bum emerges from the box.  Satisfied that he checked out every corner of the thing, he carefully turns around and steps out. A tiny metal clatter sounds from the concrete floor.  Out of the dogs mouth drops the penny.  It was covered in slobber, we will work on that.  My dog fetches money.  I have heard of assistance dogs being able to pick up dropped change.  This is cool!

Ran upstairs to grab a handful of treats and call for my husband to watch.  I tossed the penny around a few more times and get it returned a moment later.  Much celebrating occurs.  Woo hoo!   My husband thinks it is a very useful skill.  He suggests that we teach our Shepherd to pick up quarters though.

grom loves tug


Our training day went wonderfully as well.  We have two guys on our team that played with the puppy today.  Grom needs to work on his drive and his bark.  Both men did a great training session with him.  They even read the dog well and were able to adjust how they were playing with him as the dog reacted.  One man on our team owns two Mals.  These dogs may look like a German Shepherd, but they are 10X faster.  Grom and I learned a ton from the way this man played with him.  I am looking forward to training with him again.  There is so much for me to learn about Malinois!

I think Grom learned the biggest lesson of the day.  He found how to get a jackpot out of a “fruit machine.”  Now, don’t get too excited.  We did not take a trip to a casino, he got his reward straight from the freezer.

When Grom is out and we cannot keep a close watch on him, he goes in the kitchen.  Sometimes he jumps up on to the counter and gets something down we really didn’t want him to get into.  Usually just a magazine or dish towel gets pulled to the floor.  I tell you, having a working dog ensures you pick your things up lest they be destroyed.  I left the dog in the kitchen, happily chewing on a bone.  He had a big day, I did not anticipate too much trouble.  That was a mistake.

I begin walking upstairs and all I hear is my husband saying, “He got into the freezer.”  With a mournful gaze, my husband holds up the remains of a tattered freezer bag.  It looked greasy, but could not read the writing on it.  A small scattering of untouched chocolate mints pepper the floor.  My husband with possible signs of shock slowly begins to pick up the shredded plastic.  I slam the dog gate shut and yell at my husband to secure the scene.  He keeps picking at the plastic like a dazed deer.  I rush to gather the chocolate and check the wreckage status of the freezer interior.

Nothing else was touched.  Only one pound of hand cured smoked bacon ends from my husbands last lovingly made batch.

I hid for the remainder of the evening.  No status on the dog at this time he other than he is about 10 pounds happier and snoring.

Switching to Two Balls

Posted in dog training, Search and Rescue with tags , , , , on February 18, 2010 by rattlerjen

Yes, I know what the jokes are there.  Two balls or in Grom’s case, two tugs is a new way for him to play.  The goal of this little game is to get him to bring back his toy after he has “won” it rather than doing a big victory lap and playing keep away.

search dog in snow back end

This is what it looks like when tugging

First – tease the dog with the tug.  Don’t let him have it.  Nothing is valuable if it is easy to get!

Once you have him worked up into a frenzy, let him grab the toy.  Play a nice short game of tug.  When he gives a good pull, let the dog have the toy.  He is of course, going to run away with it and do the normal victory lap.

After a few seconds, produce an identical toy and wave it around.  Make a big deal about it.  Include a bunch of high pitched puppy noises and jump around like an idiot.  The dog is going to wonder if you have ants in your pants and will come over to investigate.  Here is where one of two things happens.

If he brings the toy in his mouth back with him, grab it and play tug with him again.

If he drops the toy while running back to you, tease him with the toy you have and throw it in the opposite direction whence he came.  Go get the toy he dropped.

Repeat this game until you are sure that he is at the absolute height of his excitement and fun.  When he comes back, clip his leash on him and continue tugging.  You don’t want the game to end once the leash goes on.  Otherwise he will run away as soon as he sees the leash.

Let the dog win his toy one last time and take him back to his crate.

So far this is working great for the little guy.  We do this little game in addition to agitation not in place of.

Here is a fantastic video on how to play two-balls tug properly with a tug.

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