Suprises Never End

Retriever breed specific questions. Kennel information requests, etc.

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Suprises Never End

Postby snicklefritz » Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:47 am

I have a CBR pup (7 mos, 66 pounds) and my wife has a doxie (use your imagination here). Although they are great companions we have always been concerned that if they ever played 'tug-o-war' that the CBR pup would send our doxie flying across the room because he almost does that to me. :lol:

Well, low and behold, they actually started a game last night, and our chessie held the 'tuggie toy' quietly and allowed our doxie to pull with all her might. No flying objects, just gentle enthusiatic play. :shock:

I couldn't scramble for the camera for fear of exciting things out of control. But, it was a great experience to just watch the fun. Maybe it's better that way. 8)
"When the sh*t hits the fan, you will not rise to the occasion. You will fight the way you trained."
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Postby orhunter » Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:33 am

My daughter has a minature weiner dog all of 11 lbs. and he and my younger Griff go at it all the time. A weiner dog can handle just about any situation.
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Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:49 pm

You're posssibly headed for big problems playing tug a war with a retrieving breed. One of the unbreakable cardinal rules. Please don't do it or the next posts we read will be how to get your CBR to release a bird.
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Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:29 pm

In actual play it's really common for the smaller dog to win the tug-o-war games and other games as well, otherwise there wouldn't be much of a game going on. I frequently see my Griff lay down and entice smaller or younger dogs to chase or dominate her even though she is an alpha animal and can easily get the upper hand... as she surely does whenever she likes.

As far as you playing tug-of-war games with your dog, I know that it's considered a "no-no" , but remember that it's what goes on all the time in pack behavior and I'm reconsidering whether it's all that bad... as long as the dog knows you set the perimeters.

But then I don't know what either a doxie or CBR is so take it for what it's worth.
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Postby snicklefritz » Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:03 am

Well, now I'm a bit flummoxed. 'Buddy' and I came together as a confluence of events where someone I knew from another unrelated forum had three 4 month old pups from a litter that needed a home, and I wanted a large breed dog for a pet and protection for my wife. There were a lot of conversations about the breed and I was told CBRs are more laid back than say, Labs or Goldens, but they were fiercly loyal, protective and very independent. So, I asked for a male, but the most passive of the three.

Nevertheless, I was a bit surprised at Buddy's behavior in that he is one laid back puppy. He was laid back, didn't jump up on people, didn't chew things up. I had read, been told, etc that tug-o-war was ok as long as you made sure you always won and made the dog give up the toy when the game was over. Since, Buddy was behaving so well, I elected not to play tug-o-war with him. So, for the first 8 weeks, no tug-o-war.

Later I thought it would be good for Buddy to have the chance to do what he was bred to do, so we joined the local hunting retrievers club. When I saw the energy level of the better dogs I wondered if Buddy was really cut out to retrieve. There was an older gentleman there, with a couple of champions under his belt, who members recommended might have an answer for me. This gentleman took Buddy and I aside and he worked with Buddy for a bit. He said Buddy would do just fine, but I needed to work on his desire a bit, and suggested tug-o-war, with the appropriate cautions, so to speak.

I've been playing with Buddy for about a month now and haven't seen any reluctance to drop a bumper in my hand. Last weekend, I did a few retrieves with a real duck to see how he felt about birds. Well, he's bird crazy, but he still willingly gave up the bird.

So, GONEHUNTIN', what to do? I respect your advice, which is supported by others of the same opinion. But, I'm getting contrary advise from others who also have my respect. Hmmm... need more think time. But, I do appreciate the input, and please don't hesitate to comment in the future if you would like to.
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Postby Rick Hall » Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:35 am

Snick, you're learning the truth of the old saw that the only thing two out of three dog trainers are apt to agree on is that the third doesn't know what he's talking about.

Fwiw, I've long since quit worrying about my working dogs playing tug-o-war with each other or the grandkids. Turns out even bird dogs and Chesapeakes are smart enough to learn the difference between work and play. 'Specially when we make it easy for them by keeping bumpers and birds out of play.
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Postby orhunter » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:31 am

Rick is right. Work objects are never played with and play objects are not used for work. Trust the dog to know the difference.

He is also right that few trainers will agree on what's best. Just about every technique will work on most dogs but remember dogs are as different as people. One method will not work on every dog. Finding a method you're comfortable with will help you focus on the task and make training easier. If you try to incorporate a system you don't fully understand, the results will most likely not be what you're looking for.
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Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:53 pm

You'll have to decide for yourself. When I give an opinion, it is based on years of experience as a trainer and probable reactions to different stimulus. At any one time in my kennel, I dealt with more dogs than most people do in a lifetime, and many times when a trainer gets a dog, it's because the dog has a problem that the owner can't correct. Any trainer, including amatures, should try to avoid creating a problem they will have to deal with later. Tug of war can turn into freezing which is an incurable problem. I simply see no reason to take a chance of creating a problem when there is no need to and nothing useful is coming of it. But everyone has to do what THEY feel is best. So, take advice from the people you trust the most and use it wisely.
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Postby snicklefritz » Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:59 pm

GONEHUNTIN' - I can relate to what you are saying. I used to work with horses. And, it seems like I always got the horses that already had a problem. It wasn't until I was given an opportunity to start from scratch with a horse that I could see what I could do on my own.

The problem with horses was not the horse. It was almost invariably the rider, or some physical condition in the horse that was the root of the problem. So, I take your advice seriously.

So, would it be possible to go another way on this matter, and still take advantage of your depth of experience? If you can live with that, I'll buy you a case of your favorite beverage if it turns out badly. :D
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Postby orhunter » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:05 pm

I also agree with GONEHUNTIN'. I do play tug of war with my dogs but not till they're adults. I don't think it's a wise activity for pups. When I do play tug of war, I make the dogs come to me. I don't initiate the activity and I never chase the dogs as part of the play. If the dogs run off in order to get me to follow, I go the other way so they must return to me for the fun to continue.
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Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:27 pm

If you want to continue the tug of war, use what Rick and Orhunter said. If the kids or grandkids play with the pup, that's one thing. When you play with the pup, that's another. As Orhunter said, make the dog come to you and when you command drop, make SURE he DROPS and right now. Dog's can seem to differentiate between the boss and someone "that's fun". The dog has to know that how he performs and acts with someone else has absolutely no bearing on how he must perform and act with you.

Another thing is, all CBR's are not the same. Your's sounds like one I'd have very much at one time liked to have had an opportunity to work with. The finest hunting animal you can own is a calm, layed back, dog with a desire to please and bird desire up the ying yang. I had one Chessie I absolutely loved, Chipper of Cajun Country that was much the same as you describe yours. He was never trained until 1 1/2 years and was running AKC Qualifying stakes by a little over 2. A brilliant animal.
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Postby snicklefritz » Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:48 pm

GONEHUNTIN - that I can live with just fine. I have no experience with Chessies but this dog just doesn't seem to have the characteristics that I've heard can be problematic with any dog, even as a puppy. I consider myself very fortunate, and I will try very hard not to 'mess him up'. Thanks to all for the input.

Snick
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Postby Rick Hall » Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:27 am

Though we take measures to preserve the attitude, all three of my Chessies have seemed to be whelped with sensible "Whatcha got for me?" work ethics. Stable and easy to be around at the blind but cut deep ruts to their birds.

Ill-bred Chessies seem much more apt to be pigs than squirrels - not that I've not seen the later, too.
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Postby Doc E » Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:14 pm

One of the most common causes of a ruptured disc in Doxies is playing tug-o-war with a larger dog. It only takes ONE big shake from the big dog to rupture a disc in the little dog.



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