If your dog is a natural tugger, you might be looking at some slobbery socks and chewed up leashes and wondering why you'd want to encourage that behavior. Similarly, if your dog is not much of a tugger (yes it's true, some dogs don't automatically see something in a human's hand and think "Oh, you wanna go? It's on.") it might not be obvious why you'd want to invest the time to turn them into one.

We're big fans of tugging at Harper for a few reasons...

  1. It's great exercise. If your pup has the zoomies, you can use a game of tug to get the energy out
  2. You might run out of treats but you never run out of tugs
  3. If your dog likes to tug with you, then it's much easier to get your dog to come to you
  4. Actually, all things with your dog get easier because your dog sees value in being with you. He wants to make you happy because you make him happy
  5. Tugging keeps your pup's energy high which can be useful when training, whereas food treats can make a dog sluggish
  6. Speaking of becoming sluggish, tugs have zero calories (or really, they have negative calories) so your dog can have as many as he wants
  7. Tugging is a great distraction. A dog that's too distracted to take food might still be willing to tug
  8. If your dog is a natural tugger, then putting the skill on cue means he'll only tug the things you want him to tug
  9. A dog who likes to tug is easier to teach to retrieve (he'll retrieve his tug toy so he can bring it to you for a game of tug)
  10. It's great for dogs who aren't very food motivated

For all of those reasons, we built this course to formally teach your pup to tug. It covers all of the fundamentals from how to get a dog excited about tugging, what a strong tug looks like, how to get your pup to release the tug toy when you ask, and how to make sure your pup only tugs the things you want him to tug.

Enough of this back of forth, let's get started!

What Your Pup Will Learn

  • To love tugging
  • A word that means "tug!"
  • A word that means "stop tugging and drop the toy"
  • How to tug even when there are distractions

What You Will Learn

  • How to safely tug with your dog
  • How to choose a tug toy
  • How to make tugging fun for pups that don't seem to like to tug
  • How to build your pup's enthusiasm for tugging, even if they already seem to love it
  • How to prevent unwanted tugging
  • The right (and by process of elimination, the wrong) time to introduce releasing the tug toy on cue
  • How to prevent "fake" tugging
  • How to use tugging as a reward instead of food