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A bite tug is an important drive and retrieve building tool used in dog training. It is used for police, military and Schutzhund dog training. Bite tugs are perfect for puppies but can be used for training adult dogs as well. A bite tug is a good alternative to a solid rubber ball. The latter one is hard on dog’s teeth and in situation when a puppy is accidentally hit in the head with a hard rubber ball he can lose drive. If the same dog is hit by a tug he disregards the situation and keeps chasing in drive. Bite pillows are larger tugs which are used for precision bite work training. They are safer and increase accuracy in bite work.
Traditionally, bite tugs are made of leather, jute, fire hose, synthetic fibers, etc. The harder the material a bite tug is made of the more efforts a dog needs to exert. Durability of a bite tug depends upon quality of materials used to make it. Natural fabrics like leather and jute are safe and non-toxic. Bite tugs made of the natural materials will not endanger a dog’s health and dog’s teeth in particular. Bite tugs are heavy stuffed with safe materials. Still, it is prohibited to leave a dog with a bite tug alone because a dog can tear it apart and have serious health problems or even choke with the stuffing.
There are various dimensions of dog bite tugs. They vary in length and diameter. There are bite tugs with one, two, three handles or with no handle at all. Usually, a dog trainer chooses a bite tug and its design himself relying on his preferences. There are bite tugs with special bags in which treats can be stored.
Longer bite tugs are used for puppies. The longer the tug, the easier for a puppy to bite it. A two-month-old puppy can be already trained with a bite tug. Bite tugs are suitable for obedience training as well. Encouraging a dog for his efforts and attention is always needed. Encouragement can be with treats or the bite tug can be given to a dog for some time as a reward.
The smallest tug is suitable for the training of larger, adult dogs. Long tugs will not be as effective since adult dogs can easily grab them. Bite tugs with handles are easy to use. The tug should be moved very fast so that a dog can not get at it. Short quick movements by the trainer make a dog move fast. Exercises of this kind help to develop drive.