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“Dogging” (Article ID 132)
Abstract: “Dogging,” is the term for a strategic move whereby a player discards tiles that are not needed by another player. Dogging is not a rule nor is there a penalty imposed on a player for dogging.
Question from a player: What is dogging and what is the penalty for dogging?
Answer from the NMJL: “Most of the skill in playing Mah Jongg depends upon the ability to play a good defensive game. If a hand does not improve rapidly during the play and a large portion of the wall is exhausted, a player should break up their own hand and discard tiles that are useless to the other players. This is called “dogging” tiles.”
Source: Mah Jongg Made Easy page (2020 page 18)
Other answers from the NMJL:
“There is no set rule for “dogging”. Discretion on the part of the player must be used. Discards and exposures must be taken into consideration. Also, the shorter the wall, the more reason for careful “dogging”. A player discards only tiles that are obviously not needed by any player. Very often a player will break up their own hand in order to discard safe tiles. It is important to remember while trying to complete your hand that it is just as important to prevent the other players from completing their hands.”
Sources for other answers: National Mah Jongg League Bulletin (1983, 1984, 1986, 1999 page 5, 2000 page 6)