Sunday, March 13, 2011


Is that tug rope I see?

There is just something instinctive about a boston and the game tug of war. Not sure I would ever call it a war but it is definitely fun. The easiest thing in the world to teach, the fastest to learn and hours of fun. Just hold one end of a rope or a sock tied in the middle to a boston's mouth, they grab on, you pull back and the game is on! It works equally well with two dogs as they both seem to catch on immediately. When one lets go and the other one isn't done yet, the winner approaches his opponent shaking the rope fiercely until the other dog latches on again and round 2 has begun. Occasionally, a third dog will join in the middle of the rope but this doesn't usually last two long.

When you are the opponent, you must not allow the dog to ever make contact with your skin, accidentally or on purpose. This is an unacceptable foul and the game must stop and all interaction must cease for a few minutes to teach your boston that teeth against the human hand will not be tolerated. If your dog respects you and your skin, by all means, tug away.

Our new addition to the BTRNC family, Chubbs loves tug of war as you can see from the pictures. Show him the rope and the light goes on in his eyes.

Do it again - do it again!

When he is not playing tug, he enjoys car rides, his foster Mom's lap and cheerios. Cheerios truly are the wonder food, good for your heart, universally adored by toddlers and apparently Chubbs. What a great idea for treat training, small and healthy, so they won't spoil the appetite or put on extra pounds on this handsome young man.

Chubbs is clicker trained. The clicker can be anything that makes a consistent sound. They are usually thin metal against a metal edge in a hand held matchbook size plastic box, available at most pet stores. Associate the sound of the click with the verbal command behavior you seek with or without a treat reward, and eventually wean off the click and the treat, and the response will be given with just your verbal command. It is vital however that you do not stop the click sound or the treat if you began by using treats too soon or the behavior will not be reinforced and it will not be offered again. Ask me, I should know. I was so proud of the way young puppy Riley came to me when I used the clicker, I had to show my neighbors in the yard. Problem was, I didn't have any treats in my pocket. Twice he came to me immediately, gave me a sit and attention and twice I failed to deliver the treat. He is two now and he still pays no attention to the clicker and still has no recall. BUT, that is Riley, not Chubbs whose foster Mom has better sense than me, and will train Chubbs right and well so he will respond to commands for her and his forever home!

If you would like a partner for tug or have another dog who would like a tug partner, please check out this handsome boy on our available dogs page!


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