How to Develop a Focused, Motivated Dog Who Loves Tugging

(even if you've tried and failed before)

  • shift your dog's attention from the environment to you
  • inject energy into your training
  • enhance your personal relationship with your dog

We are Sarah and Esteban Fernandezlopez, co-creators of Bad Dog Agility and we will help you teach your dog to tug.

Dogs who tug well in distracting environments tend to have faster, more focused runs.

Dr. Mary Burch, a certified animal behaviorist and author of 12 books, notes that trainers used to believe that tugging caused aggression and dominance in dogs.

Today, we know that's not true. Tugging can be a fun game that strengthens the bond with your dog, builds your dog's confidence, encourages focus on the handler, and rewards your dog for their hard work.

Yet many skilled agility trainers struggle with teaching tugging to their dog or students.

According to an American Kennel Club (AKC) survey of 750 dog agility competitors at the 2018 National Agility Championship, the majority used treats rather than toys in their training.

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take treats into the competition ring. Luckily, most agility organizations (including the AKC) allow dogs to tug on their leash as you enter the ring and set up for the start line. 

Toys are also allowed in AKC's For Exhibition Only (FEO) program—treats are not allowed.

Trainers are more skilled then ever at teaching obstacle performance and handling, so most agility classes neglect everything else a dog needs to succeed on course. Dogs are expected to "pick up" skills like tugging without formal training.

Top Trainers Understand the Importance of a Great Reward

If you want to have a dog who wants to work with you, who can focus in any environment and run with confidence, you must give them a reward worthy of their effort.

Join Bad Dog Agility's


Many handlers feel like tugging is something that the dog will either naturally enjoy...or not. However, tugging can be developed through careful training and attention to mechanics. Many trainers cause their dog's lack of tug drive by taking the fun out of the game, or tugging in a way that is uncomfortable for their dog. This course will teach you how to create a FUN and SAFE game you and your dog will both love.

  • 1
    Structured Training: Tugging is not a single behavior. We will walk you through the five aspects of tugging: the chase, the bite, the fight, the release, and the retrieve.
  • 2
    Powerful Video: 39 videos that show actual training and demonstrations of technique, with clear explanations–2.5 total hours of video organized into structured modules and lessons.
  • 3
    Personal Feedback (optional): Need more support? Sign up for the personal feedback option and submit video for guidance.

What You Will Learn

Through this course, you will learn:

  • how to choose a tug toy
  • how to entice your dog to chase the toy
  • how to present the toy and avoid getting bitten
  • how to tug with a leash safely
  • how to protect your body when tugging
  • how to teach a fast, clean release (without harming your dog's drive)
  • how to ensure your dog LOVES the rules of the game
  • how to incorporate the retrieve into your tugging game
  • how to improve your dog's grip on the toy
  • how to safely tug with puppies
  • how to tug with sensitive dogs
  • how to use tugging to transport your dog
  • how to use tugging for competition
Sarah & Esteban Fernandezlopez

Co-creators of Bad Dog Agility

About Your Instructors

In 2011-2012, Sarah and Esteban created Bad Dog Agility and started the Bad Dog Agility Podcast (over 1.3 million downloads). Since 2013, they’ve offered high quality online agility instruction at the Bad Dog Agility Academy.

For years, Sarah and Esteban have been helping Bad Dog Agility VIP members teach their dogs to tug. Many competitors had given up entirely and could use only food in training. Now, they're sharing their positive approach with you in this comprehensive online course.

The Complete Guide to Tugging

You get a user-friendly, conveniently structured online course with 39 videos (2 hours and 34 minutes) that will start with the big picture and then walk you step-by-step through our entire tugging process from start to finish. You get all the insiders-only instruction on how to create a confident agility dog who loves tugging. You get the exact blueprint that Sarah and Esteban used for their own past dogs and their new young dogs (a poodle and a golden retriever)!

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed


What People Are Saying

“So important to encourage pups to enjoy tugging.”

“Great course! So important to encourage pups to enjoy tugging. It helps to know how to show them where to bite and making it easy for them to tug successfully. I love the clear indication with both hands presenting and the short straight movements. Also the idea of 'letting the pup win'."

C. Muir

“in a matter of two weeks, I have a dog that wants to tug"

“Tugging? Not with my food motivated dog. He has had no interest in tugging. In the past, another person had recommended that I teach him to tug but was not shown how. Left to my own devices, I was an utter failure and the dog was frustrated, 'just give me the food.' Then Sarah and Esteban developed 'a complete guide to tugging' and in a matter of two weeks, I have a dog that wants to tug. The guide showed how to present the tug to get the dog interested. My dog no longer associates tugging with work but with a fun game and he is all about the fun and games. As I worked thru the modules, i kept thinking 'where was this a couple of years ago?' I would have loved to have had this incorporated in with beginning classes for those of us that do not have the knowledge in tugging or a dog that has the innate desire to tug. I am grateful for this guide and what my dog is doing now. 

If you have a dog that has no interest in tugging, do not give up. This guide will help you introduce tugging to your dog in a way that will leave the dog wanting to come back for more."

Joyce J.

“I find myself referring back to the course materials over and over”

“I highly recommend BDA’s Complete Guide to Tugging. Prior to the course, my dog enjoyed tugging, but through the course I have learned SO much more! The following includes just a few of the myriad of things I’ve learned: how to tug safely for both human and dog, how to present various types of tugs, how to get the dog to release the tug, and which tugs are best for which types of training scenarios. I find myself referring back to the course materials over and over to improve my use of tugging as a reward in training, to enhance my partnership with my dog, and to just plain have fun!"

Kathleen B.

More About This Course

The course is organized into 10 Modules with text and 39 videos. The organized structure lets you jump in with any puppy or dog at any age or skill level. You can also mark each unit as "completed" to track your progress.

Our Tugging Course

  • Year-long access
  • Instant full access
  • Well organized topics
  • Money-back guarantee

Other Online Courses

  • Usually 6-12 weeks
  • Content posted every 1-2 weeks
  • Hard to find specific topics
  • No guarantee

Join The Complete Guide to Tugging Today and Get Instant Access To:

  • Structured training covering all aspects of tugging.
  • 39 videos (2.5 hours) including slow motion and voice-over.
  • Special Topics Module, including establishing a default behavior, tugging with sensitive dogs, tugging for competition vs training, hiding the toy, transporting your dog between sequences, and adding distractions.
  • Which toys we use, why we use them, and where to buy them.
  • Optional Working Spots: support and feedback tailored for you and your dog.

Working Spots Available

Audit ($147): You may ask clarifying questions about class material (what did you mean by...) but not specific questions about your dog's training (my dog is doing this, what do I do next?) and you may not post videos for feedback.

Working ($247): You may ask any question related to class material or your dog's training of class material. You may post videos of your training sessions for Sarah and Esteban to give feedback on. 

You will have access to all materials for 1 year.

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed


100% Money Back Guarantee

If you're not thrilled with this course, just let us know during the first 7 days and we'll send you a prompt refund, no questions asked.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take this course with a puppy?

How long will I have access to the course?

What if I have more than one dog in one household during the year?

How long can I get feedback?

Who do I contact if I'm having trouble registering?