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is tug of war bad for pet??????

April 13th, 2007, 08:03 AM
Hi I'm new here with a question. I went to the vet the other day and he told me my dog has "brachygnathia" which is a shortened lower jaw aka parrot mouth :sad: and that it is a genetic defect. My breeder though is very reputable and has been breeding generations of dogs so he would have noticed a recessive gene. I was looking online (which is how i found this place) and found only a little info but it did say that the molars should also be out of alignment, which on her they are not. Also that teeth deformalities could be caused by tug of war, which she plays all the time, but she always looses to my other dog because she hold the rope with her front teeth, then he rips it out of her mouth. Has any one ever heard of this before?????

April 13th, 2007, 05:55 PM
My dad's old dog was a working police dog, he did a lot of training where he would bite a bite sleeve on someone's arm, and they would lift him off the ground and spin him around, or run with him hanging onto the sleeve, to simulate what might happen when he bit someone in real life, and to teach him to hang on no matter what.

Well by the time he was 9 all his teeth were out of alignment, he has a severe overbite, which he had when he was younger, but not to this extent. However, I doubt you other dog was lifting him up and swinging him around by his teeth. So while it is possible, I would say your vet is probably right and your breeder just doesn't want to admit it.

It probably isn't something breeders genetically test for, and even reputable breeders will have genetic problems pop up here and there. My grandfather had an akita at one time. I still have the pedigree. The dogs parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, g-g-granparents etc were all OFA hip checked prior to breeding, all had hips in the "fair" to "excellent" range. This dog had hip dyplasia. You just never know when things will show up.

April 13th, 2007, 08:35 PM
As much as i'd like to believe that it is not my fault, I only found one site that was detailed and it said that one way to tell if the problem is genetic or enviromental is if the molars and/or premolars are also out of alignment. In her case from the canines back are all in good shape which (according to site) ment the cause was enviromental. The site did say that tug of war was a possible factor. I always new she played with her front teeth but never thought of it doing any damage. I will certainly be more careful with my next pup especially during the first few months, I will talk to my vet about it again but I'm not going to make a special trip to do so, there is nothing i can do about it now except learn for the future. She is still super cute.:) :) Thank you for any replies

April 13th, 2007, 08:52 PM
Your dog must play some intense tug of war! Maybe take away the things they tend to play tug with, even though the damage is already done, it might keep it from getting worse. My dad's dog got worse over a period of years with the intense training, but since he "retired" his teeth have stayed about the same.

What kind of dogs do you have? Just curious. :)

April 14th, 2007, 07:03 AM
Tikka is 18 months she is a black mouth cur and i have a 12 year old black lab names Wizer. Thanks for the advice, I am going to take away her ropes, unfortunately these past couple of months have been really hard on my labs hips so he is not playing as much with her. Thank goodness her favoriter game is fetch, tug of war was only her second.

April 14th, 2007, 12:00 PM
Is that Tikka in your av? Very adorable!

I hope your lab feels more comfortable soon.

April 14th, 2007, 12:54 PM
I can honestly say I have never heard of this being caused by tug of war games.

I have played this game with all my dogs.None have had issues with their teeth.My current GSD(Retired Police Dog)is 11 now and his teeth are fine for an old boy.

Mind you,I never played this game when they were young,especially when the adult teeth came in.Just as I never gave them a real hard workout till they were 14 months old.As the bones are still growing and getting harder.Hence the reason SchH training isn't started till they are 18 months.

Ok,I'm very good with dog breeds.But what is a Black mouth Cur?

April 14th, 2007, 01:10 PM
My dad's k9 was 2 when we got him and he had already been trained to the bite sleeve, so I don't know how young he was when they started training. The dog would hang onto people's arms like a dead weight and he's 100 lbs. No one ever wanted to put on the bite suit during his training. I would think that would be a lot of stress on the teeth/jaw.

Black mouth cur is a huntin' dawg!

April 18th, 2007, 08:29 AM
It make sense it might be possible, but I wouldn't stress too much that it was the definitive cause. I've arm-curled with Daisy hanging off of a stick, and she hasn't had any problems.

April 18th, 2007, 09:53 AM
Thanks for your responses, I do believe that it happened when she was a puppy, possibly when she was teething. When they were playing he would be dragging her around with that rope in her mouth (she about 15lbs and him around 70lb) and as I mentioned earlier hanging on with her front teeth (her incisors) But now that the damage is done I don't want it to get any worse, weather it is genetic or enviroment, pulling on those teeth can't help so I'm going to be more careful now.

I was very surprised by some of the stuff I saw in that web site. They had pics of what can happen to dogs teeth from chewing a tenis ball, who would have thought??:shrug: Chewing on rocks, that one I can see. But you can't stop your pet from playing period and become overly paranoid. Just needs to be balanced. :pawprint:

April 18th, 2007, 01:44 PM
I dont know what site you were on but make sure it is legit, some times they are created to scare people into thinking they are ruining their dogs. Looking at pictures you have to think though of all the dogs that have played tug, or with balls and are perfectly fine. I would think that if it is the jaw that is shorter, it is genetic, but if it is just the upper teeth that are pointing out, that may be environmental :confused:

Anyway, I am sure you will get it figured out eventually.

April 18th, 2007, 06:15 PM
I would think that if it is the jaw that is shorter, it is genetic, but if it is just the upper teeth that are pointing out, that may be environmental

It is the top teeth that are sticking out. There is a quiet gap between the bottom canine and the first top incisor. My goodness that sound confusing, but looking at a dogs teeth it makes sense.:o