“The Team Tugs Story” or
“Who are we and what are we doing here?”
Team Tugs – The Beginning
Team Tugs is a home owned and operated business dedicated to producing and selling quality dog toys at competitive prices. The idea for Team Tugs was inspired by our four dogs: Bishop, Reggie, Paulie Walnuts and “T” aka T-Monster. Like most dogs, our boys love to play with toys, and their ability to destroy the average dog toy is legendary. On average, we were purchasing 2 – 3 dog toys a week to replace shredded toys. We experimented with a number of different toys for the dogs, including stuffed toys, rope toys, rubber toys and fleece tug toys. The rubber toys lasted the longest, namely because the dogs almost never pulled them out of the toy box. Stuffed toys lasted almost no time at all. Bishop’s favorite thing was to de-stuff and de-squeak the toy, which usually took less than half an hour. Once the toy was dismantled, we learned that Reggie liked to eat the stuffing and squeaker. After two trips to the vet to have stuffing and plastic squeakers removed from Reggie’s stomach we had to ban stuffed toys from the home. Rope toys were acceptable to the dogs, although cleaning up string shreds became a daily chore. The best toys that we found were the fleece tug toys. The dogs loved to play with them; there was no stuffing or squeakers to worry about and no string to clean up. As the toys came apart, they came apart in large, easy to pick up pieces which even Reggie wouldn’t try to eat. In addition, we learned that the fleece toys actually help clean the dogs’ teeth as they played with them, which is always a bonus. The only issues that we found with the fleece tug toys were that (1) They were more expensive than other tug toys and (2) They were only available in two rather unpleasing color combinations.
Team Tugs – The Inspiration
After several months of purchasing a number of fleece tug toys at the local “big box” pet store at a considerable cost, it came to us that we could probably reproduce the toys ourselves in order to save a little money. So we took a toy, dismantled it to learn how it was made, bought some fabric and started producing our own toys. After experimenting with several prototypes, we finally came up with a toy that could hold up to the punishment that our four dogs could dish out. The best thing about producing our own toys is that we could produce them in colors that we actually liked. Being Chiefs football fans, our first toys were made in Chiefs red and gold. Soon we expanded the color combinations to include holiday themed toys, Royals baseball blue and white toys and our college alma maters’ colors.
As many of our friends are also dog owners, we also started producing toys as gifts. After giving away a number of toys to our friends and relatives, it came to us that dog owners everywhere would enjoy having quality dog toys at reasonable prices in their own favorite color combinations, and so Team Tugs was born!
Team Tugs – Where we are and where are we going
Team Tugs has only recently made its debut on the internet. In its current state, we are marketing our product to dog owners and dog lovers who are looking for a quality dog toy that can be customized for any occasion. You can show your school spirit, support your favorite team, display your heritage, celebrate the holidays or just choose colors that you like for no other reason than that. We are also producing toys for wholesale purchasers for resale in locally owned pet stores and specialty shops. Our idea is to compete with the “big box” pet stores by offering an alternative to the mass produced dog toys.
We hope you enjoy our product and that you will visit our site and our blog often. Future issues of this blog will include not only information about Team Tugs, but also informational articles, dog advocacy announcements and updates and probably lots of stories about our dogs and the dogs of our friends and valued customers.
Hope to see you again soon!
Michael K Prater
Owner, Team Tugs – Custom Dog Toys
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