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Dog's Mouth Too "Soft" to Play Tug

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 8, '13 12:01pm PST 
Although my experience is with the "too hard" end of the spectrum, I do have a couple of suggestions. Maybe smushing some peanut butter deep into the fibers of the rope tug could entice him.
If the wiggling movement intrigues him, maybe wiggle the tug on the floor in front of him..on his good eye side. Try and make him *catch it. Lots of squeals & excitement..then..it escapes!laugh out loud See if when he catches it the next time he has a stronger grip on it. Try to end with him wanting more. Make the tug a special toy.
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 9, '13 8:02am PST 
Very good advice about the peanut butter and wiggling it on the floor, Squ'mey. He does like to have the knot in his mouth, he just provides no resistance when I pull on it. Maybe he will bite down once I have the peanut buttered knot in his mouth. smile
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Shane DEC- '08-JAN '12- RIP

In dreams I walk- with you..
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 9, '13 8:54am PST 
As others have pointed out, a dog lacking confidence doesn't want to give the appearance of challenging you, so might not want to tug for fear of offending you. I'd try putting a tuggable toy (I use a kong wubba) on a flirt pole. This puts some distance between you and the dog and he won't feel so confrontational.
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Rolo

1236640
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 9, '13 9:34am PST 
Thank you, Shane, that is good advice, too. He would most likely enjoy dancing for the objects on a flirt pole. Think I will make one of those for him. Yes, he lacks confidence, and it is slowly growing. I love these suggestions to help him along the way. He does seem to have a real inner playful self just trying to come out, rather being the sort of dog not interested in play.

Edited by author Wed Jan 9, '13 9:36am PST

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Rolo

1236640
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 10, '13 9:26am PST 
Asher, I know you have worked with dogs not eager to play at first, so maybe you have something to add here. Risa, you have quite good advice.

Shayne, I know you know how to bring out the most playful, active behavior in your dogs. I want to start working with a kiddie tunnel with Rolo, as we have been working on going through tighter and tighter spots. Also he is a good jumper.
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Rolo

1236640
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 12, '13 12:24pm PST 
Well I very much appreciate the responses I have received. I picked up two very soft squeakies (for puppies, I think), and I am going to coat them with liverwurst. I figure that he can't help but bite down on these and make them squeak! He enjoys the sqeaky noise and gets excited when I make it.

I intend to try out all your other suggestions, starting with Tiller's box, as he does like to tear up paper. (And dognabbit, wreck my balls of yarn!)
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Rexy

I dig in mud- puddles!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 12, '13 1:57pm PST 
Take a look through these two articles...there's probably something in there that would help.

Choosing Toys
Playing with Prey Drive

What happens if you move one of his favorite toys in erratic, figure-8 motions? Will he attempt to grab it, bounce towards it, or paw at it? If so, then I would just keep doing that every day in short increments, stopping when he is still really excited.

Have you considered using a clicker to teach him to pick up and hold onto toys? Maybe this will help with his confidence around toys.
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