From some of other posts it sounds like we have a typical GSD puppy who likes to bite everything that moves. She's around 11-1/2 wks at the moment.
I've been doing the beginning tug exercises from the Michael Ellis puppy videos and she's doing well gripping the tug and coming back to me; after a few second tug, I let her have it, I run backwards and then reward and start again when she comes to me. Sometimes the tug comes with her, sometimes she drops it, but from the video that seems to be common at her age.
Sometimes when I'm trying to redirect her from biting and nipping to a soft toy, she wants to tug... when I fall for this and tug a little it ramps her up she goes for my toes, pant legs and forearms even more (OUCH!!!). When it's a redirect from puppy biting do I not play tug and just let her have the toy? or do I encourage tug even during non-training and try and get better at shoving the soft toy in her mouth before she gets me, lol? Really hoping this is something she will outgrow; she really got my toes this morning and holy cow that hurt!
I cannot really judge that behavior for your dog, but I had the similar behavior from two of mine too. They in the beginning tried to snap wherever they had a chance. I corrected them with a firm NO and if after the next tugging they did it again : Game over! I stopped it for some minutes and then tried it again.
I needed to do this regularly for about a week, varios times per day. Then this snapping stopped. Now they out almost always immediately, but for this I need to make the tug motionless like a dead prey. Then comes as reward the continuation of the game, I stepping backward and offering the now "live" tug again for a next bite and "fight". I think it is important that they learn to bite the tug only when I have given my OK (my release command). They must not decide themselves when to restart.
I had a heap of ouches in the beginning phase, perhaps this is comfort for you. I guess they had first to understand the rules of the game fully. Probably I wanted to rush or maybe offered the tug clumsily.
For tugging I think we should never shove the toy into her mouth, she has to wait a bit and come and grab it after our OK.
I also think, if you want to use this for redirecting, the dog should first have understood the game fully. At least with mine it was like this. Don't give up! It will come the point, where it is great fun.
Take a step back, how is your communication (marker) system established. It helps a lot to be able to give feedback and a NO correction and short pause in the game when she bites the hand or skin.
Remember that the reward is the engagement with you, not the tug or treats .. you are the reward.
Also look at targeting, make sure you are keeping the tug in one spot when she targets it. A lot of people tend to move and in that case it really isn't the dogs fault so to be fair always question yourself quickly before giving a correction, if in doubt, let it slide.
Michaels tug dvd he goes back over markers fairly thoroughly. Not sure if you bought the full dvd or just watching clips of it. Well worth the money.
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