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Leerburg.com July 25, 2011
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Should I train my dog with food and tug work at the same time?

Q&A with Michael Ellis: Should I train my dog with food and tug work at the same time?

If my dogs are already playing tug with me, should I do both the food work from The Power of Training Dogs with Food first and then go on to the tug OR can I do both to master the engagement process?

July 25, 2011 | 5 Minutes, 23 Seconds

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Leerburg Q&As

Dog Bite

To view these dog bite photos, click here.
Warning: these photos are very graphic!

We are always looking for photos of people who have been bitten by their dogs while trying to break up a dog fight. If you send us photos and the story on how the accident happened we will put them on our website with the hope that your mistakes will help other people realize how dangerous it is to try and break up a dog fight the wrong way.

Dog Bite:

Hi, my name is Rohit and I own a black Pomeranian. I am from India.

This incident occurred just couple hours ago (time 11:30 pm in India). Me and Sheero were having a regular walk on the street. There was a black, full grown aggressive Labrador at the end of the street. He was alone, his owner wasn't there, he probably must have slipped from his house. Also there was no one on the streets. I saw him and decided to turn around but Sheero barked at him and he came running towards us. I lifted Sheero in my arms and that dog jumped and grabbed my left arm (pic sent). I screamed and dropped Sheero, the dog was biting my poor little Sheero very ferociously. I punched that dog, kicked him, even tried to pull him but all in vain. Finally, I got hold of Sheero's head, pulled him out and threw him over a neighbor's gate and I too jumped there. The dog then ran away.

Sheero's tail and back portion was bleeding, now it has stopped a little. My hand is also bleeding too much. I applied normal antiseptic on both of us. It is night time so I have to wait till morning to go to the doctor and vet. I will first go to the family who owns that dog and ask them about the injections they had given to him.

I am too much worried about Sheero. If you are online please tell if anything would happen to him or he would be safe?

See the photos.

Cindy's Response:

I hope you got your dog to a vet and I hope he’s alright. For future reference, Ed has written an article about what to do if you are attacked by a stray or loose dog.

I’m sorry you had to go through this!

Cindy Rhodes

This Week's Featured
Question & Answers

Question: My daughter just adopted a rottie & the rescue told her, "that with 'tug'... you should never go side to side... this simulates 'kill' and can increase aggression.  Always use a circular movement!"  What are your thoughts?

We've had rotties for 24 years. Our dogs are gentle family dogs, with impeccable manners & behavior. We have always played tug with "the tug is mine" rules. Example: When we play tug, if it comes out of their mouth, they sit & wait till we say "OK" before they can gently take it, then the tugging game begins again with gusto. When we say "give" they release. They approach you with a tug in their mouth, ears squiggled backwards, their body's wiggling back & forth as they slowly shake the tug back & forth, asking to play.

Our games of tug have always begun & ended with self control, gentleness & silly, loving affection. In between... there's growling, yanking & pulling with much energy.

My question:
My daughter just adopted a rottie & the rescue told her, "that with 'tug'... you should never go side to side... this simulates 'kill' and can increase aggression.  Always use a circular movement!"

I've NEVER seen this in my dogs.
What are your thoughts?


I can honestly say “I’ve never heard THAT one before.”  :)  It’s just plain silly, I wonder how they came up with that?

I will say that if you have dominance issues with your dog, playing tug without rules is not a good idea but the whole circular vs. side to side argument makes NO sense whatsoever.  

I would be suspect of a rescue that gives out such advice, they obviously have a lot to learn. Maybe they would like to watch The Power of Playing Tug with your Dog. It shows proper technique for tugging (which by the way, is side to side). :)

Thanks for writing!

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Playing Tug with Your Dog and Dumb & Dumber.


Question: My fiancé & I just adopted a 3 month old puppy. We're 3 weeks away from our wedding, had just purchased a house and then the house deal was delayed. We now are living in a small condo with the untrained puppy and 2 cats. He’s barking non stop and peeing in the apartment, soiling his crate and our neighbors are complaining. We get married in a week and will start working on the new house. Can we just leave him outside all day? My fiancé wants to return him to the rescue, what should we do!?


I feel terrible even writing this email, but I would like your advice on this. 2 weeks ago my fiance and I purchased a rescued 3 month old GSD mix. We were 3 weeks out from our wedding and about to close on a new fixer upper home w/ only floorboards in place. We thought this would be the ideal situation while puppy training. Well, the close on the house got delayed, so we are now 2 adults, 2 cats and an untrained puppy in my 600 sq/ft carpeted condo.

The puppy naturally is having accidents. He seems to pee inside even after having just gone outside. We take the puppy outside at 5:00am, then we feed him, then we take him outside again around noon, then we take him out at 5:00pm. He plays for 2 hours w/ the neighbor dogs, then dinner and then 2 more trips out before bed around 11. For a while when he peed inside he would go in the litter box (which is inside his XL dog crate) but now, he seems to be eliminating everywhere in the cage when he is locked in there and then laying in it. He's also defecating in there now. Everyday we come home to an hours worth of mess. Now, we are getting letters from the neighbors that he is barking non-stop all day while we are at work. He certainly wakes up every two hours at night crying and barking most nights. (We don't acknowledge him when he cries. Keep the TV and lights on.)

We just closed on the new house yesterday and with all the work we need to do on it, my fiance is upset that I need to be with the dog instead of working with him on our home and we can't bring the puppy over b/c of the mess. Furthermore, we can't move in for a few weeks due to the construction and we don't want to leave him there alone.

My finace thinks its best to take him back to the rescue group. He says we can't take on a puppy with our wedding in a week, needing to fix up our new home and attend to the puppy's needs. It's not possible for us to continue coming home every lunch break either and frankly he is just getting over tired. He thinks it is best to later consider getting an older trained dog after we have settled into the house and the wedding and honeymoon have passed.

I feel irresponsible in hind sight for getting a puppy with all we have going on and frustrated b/c the puppy is just being a puppy, but it is a lot more then we expected. I'm also concerned that this additional stress on our new marriage may be unnecessary.

I'm wondering if there is anything we can do better? If this is typical behavior and how long it will typically last? Is it OK to leave the puppy outside all day, or will he not be housebroken? Lastly, do you think it is better for everyone involved to find a home better suited for this puppy's needs?

Thank you for your input. I truly enjoyed reading your site.


Cindy's Response:

I honestly think the puppy would be better in a new home, especially since you and your fiancé are not in full agreement on what to do.

If you had gotten a puppy from me, and told me what was going on, I would insist on taking it back. A puppy’s foundation is so important to his success at being a good family companion and he’s getting a lot of rehearsal in bad habits and behavior and he’s not getting any beneficial training.

Do the puppy a favor and allow the rescue to rehome him with someone who’s in the right place in their life to give him what he needs.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Puppies.

Have a question for Ed & Cindy? Try the Leerburg Search Engine. This search engine was written specifically for Leerburg by our in house IT manager. Our search engine is specific to Leerburg and only searches leerburg.com and the Leerburg web forum. If you can't find the answer to your question by using our search engine, you can email Cindy here at Leerburg at cindyr@leerburg.com. If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Customer Comments

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