I've watched The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog and my Malinois loves to tug. The problem is she is biting my hands while tugging. How can I show her the proper way?
Hello Cindy. Hope all is well with you.
I emailed you from Afghanistan about my female Mal, who is now 14 months old, about her eating her poop. Thanks for the nutritional advice on that; your advice was spot on. Now I have another question. When I play tug with her, she bites my hands (I am sure inadvertently) right by my thumb and forefinger. I have tried widening my grip, but eventually she still bites it. I really do not think she is doing it on purpose. She is very intense about tugging or the ball.
How can I show her the proper way? I have watched the Michael Ellis video on The Power of Playing Tug with your Dog, but I did not see him address this. Any help is appreciated, as always.
If your dog is consistently biting your hands it's either a targeting issue on the dog's part (in which case I would go back and work on targeting basics again) or you may be moving the tug too much before she locks onto her target, which will cause the dog to bite your hands.
If she's biting the tug and then munching her way down the item to then bite your hands, don't let her stay on the bite that long. Let her bite, brief tugging session (BRIEF, several seconds) and then OUT.
If she is still continuing to do this and you are sure it's not a mechanical error on her part or your part, then I would NO mark it the moment she bit you and I would stop the game.
Make sure to use your duration word (I use GOOD) when the dog is biting in the correct place so she knows that's what you want.
You should realize that watching the tug video is great, but you may need to go back and study certain sections more than once (in fact that's the recommended way to view these videos).