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Do you play with your dogs? If yes, how?
Pulled this quote from Andres Martin out of the 43 drives thread and thought this was an interesting topic on its own. How do you guys play with your dogs and what differences do you have in how you play with different dogs with different temprements? Do you play with your working dogs differently from your pet dogs? If so, why?
 
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I have had only working line dogs, but usually the play happens during obediance when the dog has had enough and takes a mouth full of leash.

I just stop and take the leash off and head for the horizon, 4-5 steps and the dog has me, then I just tackle him if possible.

I don't worry about hurting him,always have had Him's, more likely my old a#% will get hurt before his.

Then typically they do that come to about 4 ft from you go low and spread their front legs somewhat and try to deke you out, then I chase them till I start spittin up lung.

Then I lay down and wish I was 20 again.
 

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i don't play with my dog. my dog does nothing for itself. it only lives to please me and i don't really like playing with him so we don't do it...

JUST KIDDING. i know it was a cheap potshot. i'm really trying not to knock this "bond" thing because i haven't seen greg or his dogs, so i cannot comment intellegently.

now on to the question. actually, i really don't play that much with my dog. his "play" is his work. he usually only gets a tug or ball for finding something, be it an article or dope. when i do play ball with him for not working, it's usually only because we haven't had much work in the past couple days and i just let him chase it to keep him in shape...
 

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Having had predominately terriers in the past, I play rough with all my dogs. Same with my GSD and Mal now.
The biggest difference between any of them is how much I allow them to push me a round. If the've been somewhat submissive, I've let them get the best of me. The softer ones love this and I've never had a problem with them trying to take over for real.
The serious tough guys, my present JRT included here, have a lot more rules and boundries with the game.
In addition to this, almost all my dogs have learned to play fetch and lots of long walks in the woods.
Hard to pass up a playground set also.
 

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My dogs get affection (usually only after doing something for me first, of course) and Zoso gets to play with the tug, but we don't really play other than that. We go on long walks and trail hikes instead.
 

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I play with my dogs all the time, it's my favorite thing to do. Most of the time with the ball or roughhousing or the tug, stuff like that. Sometimes i'll do ob with all 3 at the same time and turn it into kind of play, see if i can get them all lined up and into it, doing the commands at the same time. There's not a whole lot of training to do with my dogs, my female is completely retarded and the dog i got from Will R came already trained and my younger male has always been great, so all that's left is to maintain them, so we play a lot,
AL
 

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I do alot of just horsing around. Being as siberians are not known for their flashy obedience and prompt recalls.... :roll: - I try to do lots of fun type recalls. The smaller dogs I try to teach stuff like jumping up into my arms or on my shoulders - the big honkers - I try to teach them not to flatten me. I do pick them up and manhandle them alot and this is when I use obstacles and get them to jump up on stuff. Alot of what I do is referee-ing the 12 dog high speed pursuit/steeplechase/obstacle course/demo derby that they think is the highest form of fun around the dogyard. They are not "fetchers" or "tuggers" or much interested in toys -
I had a dog in the past(husky/elkhound X) that was a great retreiver in water and on land and loved to fetch and tug and I miss that aspect of dog-play. I have serious GSD envy =P~ ....
 

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Lyn, one problem with playing with those darn shepherds and their darn toys is when they accidently rip their front dew claw while playing tug in the living room! This just happened about 10 minutes ago. Me and Zoso were playing with the two handled tug and he somehow snagged the front right dew claw on something. He didn't even notice it until I saw blood all over the carpet! It took him a good 60 seconds to come out of his "awww...why did the game stop?!" mode to "Mommy! I have an OWWIE!!!" mode. It stopped bleeding soon enough but I was getting worried for a minute that an emergency vet trip was imminent with how much blood was oozing out. We put a sock on him for a few minutes just to keep the cotton ball on. He was not amused.
 

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I only have a pretend dog. :twisted:

No physical contact (wrestling, etc.). Only changed that recently with tug games per advice from Mark...I'll push her back when she tries to give it to me to tug more, etc. She seems to enjoy it.

I'm not a fan of wrestling with the dog because her mouth is not allowed on me or anyone else in the family, even just for play, and wrestling tends to lead to that, I think.

She started a long time ago doing "victory runs" through my legs when she's retrieving a ball. This started in the winter when I was too cold to move, and struck me as amusing as I tried to blow frozen snot out of my nose, now I can get her revved up at the end of a harder "thinking" retrieve through current, etc. by kicking out my leg to the side and she works a bit harder to get back quicker. It became kind of a reward, I guess. Kind of hard to describe without sounding a bit off, now that I think about it. Don't report me.

Fetch with Orbees against and with the current in the big stream by my house. Annie loves water, loves swimming, loves jumping through shallower water. It's entertaining to watch. Plus the various banks in this stream (it's a big one and we play at different points along the few miles we walk) test her a bit...jumps off of stones into water, runs up very steep inclines, with me either encouraging her after the ball or me running away up the bank to get her back up over a particularly new embankment for her.

Garden hose. She goes nutty over the garden hose. Very handy for baths, makes the neighbors laugh and tears up my lawn.

Since she was very young I have played tug with her in our kitchen, which is tiled. Bob has pointed out this can be bad re: to getting her weird about slippery surfaces. But I think it had the effect of getting her to try to control with her mouth harder (i.e., harder grip) and she is absolutely indifferent to leaving her feet when tugging me or on a decoy (just starting this, though).

Lots and lots of fetch, everyday. Trying to build up her shorter term stamina so I've switched to two-ball at smaller distances. I thread lots of obedience into this.

Annie loves backtie sessions. Just started this for real lately. Goes nuts to the point where I can only do it during normal waking hours...she is a normally silent dog and she goes nutty and barky, big time. I backtie her up and run into the house. Come out slowly, no eye contact, put on my vest...and then take off, get behind trees, peek out, run behind the plastic kid eqmt in my yard, slap the tug against everything, tease her out. The backtie has a bungee on it, she really gets into this.

She really gets hyped up whenever she's at head level with me. I have a 4 ft rock wall on one side of my house....Annie will run across that and get very revved. She generally gets revved whenever she's at or above head level with me, I don't want this to escalate, which I why I never wrestle with her. I don't want that to become something else (if that makes any sense).

Tug, never let her get the first bite, but she's getting quick enough that I have a hard time repositioning more than two or three times without her nabbing it. She's getting good at popping back after she's committed to a tug one way...springs right back into it.

Supervised interaction with her and Patrick, they are becoming quite fond of each other. Charlie's still a bit too young for it. But Annie's cool...she will not leave the backyard, etc. to follow me inside if the kids are still out there. She'll just stare at me and then go stay next to the kid (like I'm forgetting about them or something...maybe I am :eek:). Man, I love GSDs.
 

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I don't tend to play much with tugs or balls with my GSD in general because he gets too serious around prey items and if I just want to have fun I end up breathless and panting in five minutes with maybe a thumb almost ripped, etc. So those I reserve for obedience. :D My other dogs I do play ball/tug with (i.e. for fun) since they just treat it for fun.

I roughhouse with him though, he normally avoids putting his jaws around me except very gently so we're cool. I run around like crazy, he runs around like crazy, we snort like a couple of horses, we mess around with the other dogs, I hide in closets and tease him into finding me, general pack-play behaviour. I also joke with him a lot, sometimes I'll catch him looking at me and I'll grin and he'll take that to mean something and attempt to launch at me and then I'll pull at his coat. He always stops when I'm sick of it.

I have a really good bond with him, regardless of what type of training I've done since he was younger...he's the type of dog who, after being marked and released, will run to my side and look up at me to lean his head against my arm as if asking if he did well. He nibbles me for affection, although he's normally not a 'mouthy' dog (as a pup he either licked you or he bit you HARD). He also sleeps on top of me, a habit he got since he was younger and I used to sleep on a mat on the floor with him because otherwise he screamed and the people I live with didn't appreciate that. I think it's how you live with the dog, not the training you do. The training teaches different types of behaviour and reaction and so on, but for the bond per se, it comes with your personal relationship with the dog.
 

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I usually play ball or go in the woods, and the dogs see work as play :)

Grim came to me with a *dog does not put mouth on human body* pre set into him pretty hard so we don't play wrestle but Cyra loves to and has great bite inhibition.
 

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Well, I dont have to post cause Tim already posted what I would have wrote.. :lol: :p 8) .
 

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I don't do much rough play with Jak because he has very little bite inhibition and he always seems to get me in the places that hurt the most (shin, foot, hand, boob :oops: ). Once he gets me, it's like he realizes what he's done and he immediately lets go, but by then it's too late. He's not drawn blood on me (yet) but he's made some nasty looking bruises and 'almost-punctures.' I let him run around in the yard and play rough with Gypsy. She likes to play rough, and she can be a little bit dirty, too, so she keeps him on his toes.

Per my TD, I do not play tug with him, but I will throw his toys for him to go and get. I make him follow some sort of command before I throw them, but once he's got them, he tries to play keep away, so I have to wait until he lays down with the toy to go and get it back. I'll also run around and let him run with me/after me (usually with one of the toys in his mouth), and I'll 'play bow' at him and get him all riled up that way before throwing a toy or popping one out of nowhere for him to 'steal.'

When it hasn't been raining, and I have had the time, I've been taking him for walks around the lake, which are at least 2 miles, with a break or two along the way to let him romp along the shore and get in the water if he wants to. He's not a fan of getting wet, though, like Gypsy is, so he usually doesn't get more than about halfway up his leg deep in water, and he never stays there long.

That's about the extent of my playing with him. Adam isn't really allowed to play with Jak because he does dumb things (like growling).
 

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With Shandi, I throw a ball which she loves to chase. Or while out on walks I do a little hide and seek with her. So that when she gets out of site I duck into or behind something and let her find me.
 

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Al Curbow said:
Tim, i couldn't tell by your post, you don't believe in the bond between man and dog?
i absolutely believe in it. just not to the extent that it can compel a dog to do things it does not want to do on a regular basis. i have been taught that a dog lives to suit it's own needs and we shape those behaviors to fit our needs. andres said it best. my dog searches for bad guys, not because he "loves" me and wants to please me, but because he wants the drive satisfaction of the find. he searches for drugs because he wants his tug. he searches for articles because he wants his ball. these methods are tried and true. i come from a trainer that has been doing this stuff for over 30 years. he's old school, which by default, makes me old school in my thinking. i'm not saying anyone here isn't telling the truth or that they are exaggeraing their claims. i'm not closed minded enough to completely dismiss their ideas, but i am as one poster pointed out, skeptical...
 

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Indeed, I believe drive satisfaction...regardless of whether you train that way or not...plays a big role in why our working dogs can do the work they do. Otherwise we could just take any dog and make it 'love' us enough to do protection work...

The methods described by Al and Greg and the others (which are actually similar methods to what I first started out with, before I learned all this drive theory), are very good exercises in solidifying a dog's obedience and handler dependance. However, training can only take a dog so far.
 

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I started out with drive theory first.It was what I learned when I was first introduced to working dogs.

Tim,dont underestimate the power of the bond.All Im saying is thats it is more than just drive satisfaction and more than just compulsion.
 

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My family and I have fun doing "stuff" with my dog. e.g.

-My dog has personality, and he's pretty self-confident, so almost everything that's not aggression is a game.
-At 4am my son and I take the dog out for a 1hr bike ride on dirt roads on a volcano near where I live.
-I use a flirt pole for muscle building and development of fast twitch muscle power, and a spring pole armed with a stuffed leather tug to build jaw muscle power and endurance.
-He also plays on a treadmill.
-We take him when we go horseback riding and canoeing.
-I hide my kids wherever and tell the dog to find them.
-I play Ivan Balabanov's "the game" on all kinds of surfaces and elevations.
-My kids jump on the trampoline in my yard with the dog.
-I have a long slide (25 meters) and a drainage pipe that my kids and the dog slide down. They climb the ladder together, and then slide down. I don't do that when people are watching.
-I throw things into fields and have the dog bring them.
-My kids call the dog into the pool or lake, and when he's close they grab his tail and he pulls them back to the edge.
-The dog - plays with himself - he takes anything he can, takes it up the pool slide ladder, drops it down the slide, slides down into the pool, and repeats it.
-But the best game of all is allowing him to "goose" the living daylights out of select visitors to my home.

8)

I think this has allowed me to know my dog very well. I know what his signs mean. He works with a bunch of commitment for me...plus all the family contact has made him protective of the kids.
 
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