Now, those of you that have dogs that are natural tuggers, you're probably asking, "What's the big deal?" Well, I have been working with Jackson off and on (usually 'off' because I have given up a number of times) to try to get an enthusiastic tug from him. Unlike a lot of dogs, he just never seemed to have any interest in tugging with me. I've tried all kinds of tugs - soft, hard, ropes, food-containing ones, etc. - with not much success..... until recently.
According to SG, and a lot of trainers, this is the foundation to building a relationship with your dog and building drive. (Heaven knows - we could use some drive : ) So, I've started working on the tugging again with him. I'm not sure what is different this time, but we seem to be having some success. We have a long ways to go to get to the point where he will tug with me in new settings with distractions and when I ask for it, but for now, we are building value with tugging in the house. We'll gradually try to move it outside where there are some distractions and then to the club, etc.
And for now, I am only asking for tugging when he is 'up,' like before we go out to train, or when it's time to eat. If anyone has any tips on how they have gotten a non-tugging dog to love tugging, please share. We can use any help we can get to keep this thing moving in the right direction.
Here's the proof : )