Bite Work

8 Responses

  1. JK says:

    Julie is right! Batman loves his squirrel on a stick, ball on a rope, and all manner of tug toys he can sink his teeth into. This also helps with targeting in the future. Just make sure the toy is always moving away from him to build his prey drive. It helps him get a nice good grip on the toy if he bites it in a forward motion.

  2. Kirsten says:

    Ferocious! WTRanger has a pretty full, hard bite too. Not so much on his toys, but on me. Can you say, Dermabond?

    • JK says:

      LOL. Just wait a month or two. There’s nothing like shaking out your coat and having baby teeth fall out of it!

  3. Al & Karen says:

    Great advice you guys!!! You can’t substitute bite work, and you can’t start teaching the correct grip any too soon, earlier the better. It is easier to teach it correctly at first than to have to break bad habits and correct it later.

  4. Al & Karen says:

    You want him to have a nice full bite. Maybe Julie has some good pictures to illustrate it. And there is the ball on a string, if he bites the string, don’t move it..like it goes dead, he will soon learn that, that isn’t fun but when I bite the ball I get to pull and fight a little.But be really careful when they are teething, don’t really pull with him much. We started Kapone out with a piece of sweatshirt on a string and then moved to burlap type material, because it was easier to reposition his bite with the cloth. Gustavo starts the puppies out with a rag shammy or something, I forget exactly. I have to say we started from day 1 with Kapone with his bite work and he has a great bite now. Julie will know what he starts them with as I think she has started Willa.

  5. Julie says:

    Puppies want and need to bite. So you need to teach them to bite on things you want them to bite as opposed to biting on you. Additionally it is great exercise that can be done in a small space, indoors or outdoors. The object you use should be thin enough that it will easily fit into the back of their mouth and it needs to be a texture that they want to bite. Those hard giant twisted ropes is an example of what NOT to use, they are too big and they are too hard. The tug toy should also be long so you can get it away from your body. Tying it to a “teaser” stick or a “flirt” pole does the trick. You can make your own teaser stick from a lunge whip for horses, or any kind of stick that you can attach a thin rope to one end. I know someone that made one from a golf club shaft.

    This is my favorite toy for very young puppies: the Robit http://www.dogsportgear.com/The-Robit-Toy_p_337.html

    You can buy an 1/8th of a yard of fleece for your tug toy, an old terry cloth sock attached to your flirt pole by a string, an old robe sash, etc.

    Once you get the right object that is a good texture and the right size to fit on those back teeth. Then you need to learn the proper rules and techniques of playing tug.

    Some good articles:

    Drive and the Search Dog

    Playing with Prey-Drive

    Monica using a teaser stick to play with a dog:

    Gustavo evaluating a puppy:

  6. Al & Karen says:

    Both great examples Julie.

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