I believe that teaching tuggy is practically an art in itself. You can teach pups to play softly, and give easily….or teach them to play hard. Depends on what you want. With this dog you want a soft play….and hence a soft retrieve. I do this by sitting on the floor, and not allowing the dog to run past me. I throw tuggy, and the pup is encouraged to come to me. If the pup drops the tuggy at my feet, I pick it up and throw it. I do a lot of just throwing the tuggy as a reward for the pup bringing it to me. The pup realises that if he brings the tuggy to me, I’ll throw it for him. Gradually the pup comes closer to me, and I hold my hand out for the tuggy. Eventually he will drop the tuggy in my hand (probably by mistake! ;D) and, again, the reward is me throwing it for him. This will happen more often, and the pup’s reward is again me throwing the tuggy. I only start to “tug” when pup is placing it in my hand. (When he places it in my hand, I say “Give” so I already have my release word.) And when I say “tug” I mean a gentle, gentle tug. And I immediately release, and allow the pup to “win”. The game of tug is all about the pup winning the game…..otherwise why would the pup want to play? This gentle tug can stay a gently tug….and therefore a soft tug (and retrieve) or you can progress to a harder tug.