I would prefer never to play tug of war with my dogs as I have 4 children and it is honestly not a very safe game to play with small children around and little fingers might accidently get in the way plus my dogs are too big and would always win and that cant be good if I were to play tug of war I would make sure to win some of the time to make sure the dog knows who is in charge.
It is much safer to teach your Doberman appropriate rules for when he can take and grasp objects with his mouth, than to try to prevent such a game from ever happening.
Use a professional to help you teach this, for safety and accuracy--but be sure your dog has taking an object "on cue," and also dropping the object and/or placing it gently into your hand.
As others have said, "winning" the tug has absolutely nothing to do with whether the dog "knows who is in charge."
The dog knows "who is in charge" because every single resource the dog wants--including interaction with the tug, goes thru the gateway--which is you. That is the foundation of all training--a dog who looks to you
for direction and resources.
Originally Posted by Designer Doberman View Post
From what I have read and researched, your suppose to win most of the time to become dominant. It is good to let them win sometimes or else they would just get bored of it. I like what was said earlier about being the one who has full control over the game.
Again, what Zucker and KevinK said.
I am a firm believer in freedom of speech and press, but I sort of wish we could hold a gigantic book burning and jump around the big ol' bonfire of all the old, inaccurate outdated stuff out there.
You can let your dog win every single time and still be the boss. It's all about how you play the game and that you play it by YOUR rules. It can be a great time to teach a very reliable "out" in a fun and positive way. You don't have to concentrate on ripping the toy out of the dog's mouth in order to "win". In most cases that's how you create more drive for the toy and it's very bad practice if what you're actually trying to teach is for the dog to give you the object. Trading for food or a better toy is always a better idea and in that scenario that dog "wins" even more while learning and training in a happy upbeat manner. You may not be winning the tug, but you're winning by teaching your dog manners.
Sontera made some good points. Some dogs don't necessarily think they "won" if they got the tug from you, they're far more happy to keep tugging.
I think it's valid to say here that the idea to never let your dog win tug games or to not play them at all because that will create dominant and aggressive dogs is more along an old wives tale and is not very accurate.
In my world, the dog always "wins". He either gets the toy or I take it in which case it means something better is about to happen (even if there is some training in between).