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Leerburg's Q&A database has 3350 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Playing With Your Dog

Q. My puppy is in training for agility and only likes to tug on my sweatshirt arms while I'm wearing it. Should I get a puppy sleeve and let her continue to tug on my arm?
Hi,

I looked through your Q and A and did not find the exact answer I am looking for. I will try to be quick.

I have a 4 month old aussie/BC cross who I will be training for agility (and life skills in general). Right now we are just playing. She is not overly driven but does enjoy tugging, etc. The problem... and I do not really see it so much of a problem but she really prefers tugging on the sleeves of my sweatshirts over any toy that we play with. I tried using a glove... not the same. I actually enjoy how she gets into it as she enjoys it also. I am thinking that if I get one of your puppy sleeves and then teach her that she only gets to tug on my sleeves when I have this on, that we can continue her favorite game and help build her drive, she is a bit soft.

Thank you for your time,
Micki

A. I wouldn't allow this behavior to continue. In order to use tugs as a reward for training, the dog needs to tug on what you want them too. Many high prey drive dogs like to tug on clothes but you are setting yourself up for a problem later in training if you allow this to go on.

If she likes the sweatshirt material, then make a tug out of it. DO NOT let her continue to do this on your arm, because as her drive builds with maturity you will wish you hadn't. I've seen others make this mistake.

I'd use a sweatshirt on a string or leash, and get her tugging on that and when she's doing that well I'd switch to a pocket tug or something that you will be able to carry on you for an agility reward.

I'd also recommend The Power of Playing Tug with your Dog.

Cindy
  
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