I decided to start a new subject rather than add my comment to the "puppy aggression". My GSPs and I are very serious agility competitors. Terra and I also run flyball. One of the rewards and main motivators to build drive especially in flyball is a tug of some sort. My dogs find this very motivating! Terra would rather interact with me and a toy than food. I have never had problems with aggression. When the tug game is over, I end it. The dogs know they must work again for another play session. Terra has no trouble retrieving a bird to hand and is very soft mouthed.
My question is: Terra was only introduced to tug games after she had been trained for basic field stuff. I'm not sure whether this made a difference or not. I will be keeping a puppy from her next and final litter and plan to do everything (field, agility, obedience, show, flyball) with it as well. Should I delay the tug games again or start them right away?
I don't do field work with my GSPs, but have discovered that tug games are a great reward/motivater. I learned about this with flyball, and I too end the game and they have to work for another round of tug. I have since transferred this reward to obedience with my oldest who is really smart and gets easily bored. We still do retrieve work with both dogs and they are still soft mouthed. They also never have shown an agressive bone in them even after the tugging. I can't believe that as long as you are in control and end the game there would be any problem, but again I don't actually hunt with my girls. I will be interested to hear from others on this subject.
Bev and the Pointer Sisters (Belle and Halo)