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Building Equity, Restoring Social Justice

Given recent events in North America, I wanted to take a moment to clarify the Snuffles & Tugs sponsorship program.  Snuffles & Tugs recognizes the power and privilege structures that are firmly rooted within the dog sports ecosystem. We stand for equity. We stand for diversity. We crave change. Since 2018, the Snuffles & Tugs sponsorship program has offered support to individuals and organizations making change in dog sports by reducing barriers to participation, reaching youth and minorities, and re-allocating assets to underserved portions of the dog sports community. To date, Snuffles & Tugs has reached only a small number

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Slip Leash Design Updates

There’s one question I can’t shake these days. “How do I give folks the best possible value in their gear?” North America is re-opening, and now that we’ve detoxed from dog sports withdrawal, the opportunities for participation are starting to present themselves again. That brings me to what kept me up at night for a couple of months. How do I make sure every leash will go the extra mile? Competition leashes are, after all, only used in competition and that makes them a non-essential item. And yet, I understand how important it is to celebrate the accomplishments of being

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Happy Birthday River!

It’s been 3 years of trees, sheep, and other drugs.  When I found out baby River was available, I was eager to meet her. I knew my next pup would be a Border Collie. I also knew how fascinated I was with Silvia Trkman’s Bi, her naughty girl who threw her for a loop with all kinds of training challenges.  When I met baby River I knew she was a challenge, and also, that she had to be mine. Aloof, affectionate, and always looking for the shortcut to getting some cookies, I was mesmerized by her perspective on life. So

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The Play Hard Collection Retires

The PLAY HARD Collection is sold out, and now retired. But, I wanted to give it one last send-off! As a limited edition collection, there was only a few or less of each item available. As they sold out, the closet got emptier and emptier. I was sad to see them go, but happy they would be well used and loved in their new homes during the first phase of lockdown in North America. Would you like to see another limited edition collection of toys as you train and compete at home? Please leave a comment and let me know,

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Shaping a Retrieve to Hand: Part 1

A retrieve to hand (described in a forward chain) starts with the dog going to the object, and picking it up in their mouth. This is where River and I are starting our retrieve-to-hand shaping project. River is being rewarded for any interaction with the object, and jackpotted for the best interactions with it. Jackpot-worthy interactions include pawing, nose touching, or opening her mouth. I also jackpot for anything creative that River comes up with! At this early stage of training, River exhibits a preference for wanting to pick up and then flick the object that she is holding. I

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Shaping a Retrieve to Hand: Introduction

Retrieving to hand is a fundamental skill for sports dogs. When a dog executes a retrieve to hand, she runs after the toy (whether it be thrown or static), picks it up and holds it in her mouth and returns to the handler. When the dog reaches the handler, she will push the toy into the palm of her human’s hand. This action initiates play with the handler. Play might take the form of tugging, throwing the toy again, opening the toy to reveal food, or unformalized forms of silliness. There are huge advantages to a retrieve to hand –

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