Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Magical Leashes!

Just call me the eternal optimist. Or maybe just extremely hard-headed. Perhaps a bit of both! I will not give up until I have a freaking dog that tugs at trials!

As I figured, our new tuggy leashes from Tillies Tuggies were in the mail when we got home on Sunday. They were exactly what I was hoping for, although I guess it wouldn't hurt if they were a bit thicker. The length is perfect. I don't know how long-lasting they would be with a hard-core tugger, but we'll certainly put them to the test. For $15, if they work for Secret I'd be more than willing to restock often.

There is no way I could be happier with the colors that were sent!  :o)  I just put in a note that I wasn't fussy about color, but that any combination of pink and/or purple would be lovely. The darker leash is almost a perfect match for Secret's pink zebra collar that she wears to agility trials! Sweet. The darker leash has the rabbit fur bite bar and the lighter one has the sheepskin.

Speaking of the bite bar, I honestly feel that this is what makes these tug leashes THE BOMB. While playing with Secret, she goes for the bite bar every time. If she lands on the "plain old boring fleece" she tends to drop and re-grip on the fur.

I wonder what NADAC rules are for something like this leash.... I mean, I'm not going to deny that the fur bite bar certainly makes it look like more of a toy. If the dog doesn't play in the ring, though, is it okay? I'm not about to bring it up on the NADAC boards. The judge at our next trial is super cool, so I'll ask her what she thinks next weekend.

Secret is my biggest judge, though. And honest to god, I think I'd happily take a few E's in NADAC if she decided she suddenly wanted to tug in the ring.  ;o)

Thus far the leashes are a hit. The last couple of nights I just played with her in the house. Last night I attached the leashes to a collar AND SHE STILL PLAYED! I even went through the act of taking the collar on & off and offering her the leash to tug and she was totally into it. I accidentally let go of the leash once when she shook it really hard and the metal clip whacked her on her leg. She yelped.  :o(  I thought, "Oh crap, there's the end of that."  But she started tugging again immediately!

Tonight I took the show on the road -- to the back yard. In the dark. I set up two jumps and we just played. I tugged with it attached to her collar and with everything off her. I threw it out past the jumps and played with her for targeting the leash (which she did with gusto!). I took off her collar/leash and chucked it behind us, did the two jumps and wrapped back to send her to her leash - Weeee! It was a good (short) session that continues to make me hopeful that perhaps one day she will decide it's okay to play at trials.

We had good moments at the USDAA trial this past weekend. I was able to get her pretty revved up by "smacking her around" a bit and poking at her to rile her up. She even mouthed at her short leather leash when I offered it to her, but she never quite tugged. She was being awfully sassy, so I'm hoping that kind of stuff will eventually lead to the playing I'm looking for. I did have an udder tug toy with that she showed no interest in.... But that was at the beginning of the weekend and I never did bring it back out.

Secret seemed all around "happier" at the trial this past weekend, I think. She was being super kissy and was seeking out interaction with me. Often times she doesn't want me to even touch her at trials; she'll recoil when I try to pet or massage her. This weekend she was climbing on top of me, in my lap and just being goofy. I'm hopeful this means that the stress of trials is lessening and that maybe, just maybe it will pave the way to play. Who knows, one can hope.


  1. Yes, we can always hope! If we couldn't we have given up by now. lol

    I've never bought anything with rabbit fur. I would feel too guilty :(

    1. I try not to think of that, I guess. :o( We do have a coon tail tuggy - I don't feel the least bit guilty about that toy. ;o)

  2. I love that shop! I'm thinking I should go back to getting tugging on the leash. I had it at one point and I think now that Vito's doing a bit better I can go back to it! It can be such a huge advantage!
    Good luck!