Evaluation reschedule date:
May 9th (this will be "Week 8" of your Trick session).
If you were in the 6pm class, your test time will be 11am.
If you were in the 7:15pm class, your time is 12:30pm.
It's time to think about titling options!
We offer several different titling options to fit your needs. Below are a list of organizations & their trick lists.
After you've chosen which organization to title with, choose which tricks you want to be evaluated on. If this is your first time, choose from the Novice list. Also, select MORE tricks than you will need to title, just in case your dog isn't into 1 or 2 others on test day. Place those tricks in order of easy to hard (dog's perspective).
You only have 7 minutes to test, in order for us to get through everyone. This means that you must come prepared with a trick list on test night. You will also need to email me a list of props you will need (or bring your own).
If you don't know what a trick on the list means, please ask!
Titling Organizations & Trick Lists
The Thinking K9
You can choose to use The Thinking K9 to earn a certificate for your dog, without having to send in additional paperwork and pay extra fees. We use the tricks and criteria for Do More With Your Dog.
Do More With Your Dog
Many people choose to title with DMWYD because you don’t have to register your dog. They send out a nice certificate and a ribbon for each title earned. They also list you, your dog, and the title on their website (e.g. Batman is listed under Boxers HERE). Titling through them is also required if you wish to do Stunt Dog Competitions (Barbara is a Stunt Dog Judge as well, and may hold competitions in the future). I highly recommend titling through DMWYD.
American Kennel Club (AKC)
If your dog is already registered with AKC or you wish to do AKC shows (recommended), you may wish to send in the AKC application to have the Trick Dog title on your dogs papers. AKC Trick Titles are also easier to earn, but all your dogs will do great with either organization.
Click HERE for information on how to register your dog, including mixed breeds.
In addition to the files below, you will need to submit the AKC Title Application Form.
- AKC Novice Trick List
- AKC Intermediate Trick List
- AKC Advanced Trick List
- AKC Performer Trick List
- AKC Elite Performer Trick List
BOTH AKC & DMWYD
Some people prefer to title with both organizations. If you wish to do so, first submit your DMWYD titles and then grandfather them into AKC through the form above.
Spin & Challenge!
If you're new to Spin, use the lure your dog is best at. Once your dog understands it, then move to the challenge if you wish.
Master luring your dog around the cone first. While it might seem like a silly step, it truly helps provide clarity for dogs and accelerates learning.
When your dog can be lured around the cone easily 3 times, take the cone away and lure your dog without it. Bear in mind that your dog will still need a big & wide lure. With practice, you will be able to make that lure smaller and smaller.
Master one direction before trying the other.
Name each direction something different, so you can tell your dog not only to spin, but which direction to spin! Common commands are spin & twirl & twice & shout.
If your are more advanced or you want a challenge, teach this using the target stick! It's a cute addition to the trick, and it's more difficult!
Then, take this concept further and use the target stick to lure your dog to do other things!
Blind Hoop Jump
Always warm your dog up by showing them what "game" you're playing now, by going back a step. Ask your dog to jump through the hoop, between the platform & the floor a few times before adding the obstruction (streamers).
It can help to introduce the obstructions with the hoop on the ground instead of on the platform.
You can use the tulle linked, or party streamers, tissue paper, etc.
Honk a bike horn
We began preparing for this exercise by teaching our dog's how to hold a PVC dowel. We used a PVC dowel to start with, because it's less likely to break and doesn't elicit as playful of a response as a horn squeaking. This helped our dog's clarity for the task, making it easier to introduce more novel objects to hold.
With that said, there are many ways to honk a horn. Some dogs use their nose to push it, while others clamp down on it with their mouth. Do whichever one your dog likes most, or teach both!
There tend to be two types of dogs; Those that show no interest at all, and those that are over exuberant. The art of this exercise is showing the ones with no interest that it can be fun, or teaching the latter type of dog to have more control.
This is the week we get your dogs used to a variety of different tunnels. Not to worry! You don't need an expensive tunnel! Watch these videos for ways to make a tunnel, crawl tunnel, and an agility type chute!
Bloopers included 😂
Agility style chute
Cik & cap jump wraps
This trick leaps off of our Barrel Racing trick, by adding the jump bar. This is a trick, as well as a directional casting drill.
NEVER THROW TREATS OVER THE JUMP TO GET YOUR DOG TO GO OVER. Doing so results in a dog that perpetually scavenges the floor after going over jumps & ignores the owner. It is very difficult to un-train once it has started!
Use the bucket to send your dog away from you & through the jump, don't lure. The bucket adds clarity & simplifies the process. It is also extremely difficult to fade a lure in a situation like this, because dogs don't want to leave our hand when we lure (that's why it works so well). This works directly against us, as the entire premise of this exercise is to get our dogs to go away from us. It's impossible to fade a lure in these cases, therefore it isn't a viable training tool.
Keep the jump bar extremely low (2-4" off ground) while your dog is learning this. A jump bump is best. This sets them up for success, so they can learn how to do the exercise without tripping over the jump bar. Also, if a dog hits the jump bar enough during teaching this exercise, they will think that is part of the trick and always knock it over. You are best solidifying the jump, then slowly raising the bar.
OPEN & close doors
CAUTION: Be careful how you teach your dog to open doors. I recommend using the tug method, so your dog doesn't learn how to open doorknobs & let themselves out!
Revisit how to teach closing the door HERE.
Your dog should have a strong foundation with Tug before teaching this trick.
Many dogs don't like to tug "dead" objects; objects that don't tug back. Therefore it can be hard to get some dogs started. Warming them up with tug (but don't wear them out!) can help. Also, attach it to the door and play tug for a few seconds before letting your dog tug with the door.
Turn on the light & noise buttons
Begin teaching your dog with the NOSE buttons/switches first. Most dogs have a hard time going back to nose targets after we begin using their feet. *BLOOPER* Watch the video to the end, to see Batman making a liar out of me with that one, LOL! Background: Boxers loooove to use their feet, hence the name. Therefore I've worked extremely hard on nose targets. Through training, he is the exception to the rule.
Noise buttons can also work as potty bells! It is perfect for dogs that don't like touching bells with their nose.
The light switches are SUPER bright! I covered them with colored duct tape to take the edge off. As a bonus, they are colorful too!
The small round tap lights (shown in video) are cheaper at the dollar store. Many people prefer the 5.5" large rounds ones, therefore I've linked to them here (not at the dollar store).
Rear-end awareness - foundation handstands!
This week our rear-end awareness is starting to look a lot more like handstands! W00T!!
Before you bring your dog out, check the equipment you're using. Is it strong enough to support your dog? Is it stable enough that your dog can't knock it over? Try moving it around and pushing on it first. Should your dog have an adverse experience, it may prove difficult if not nearly impossible to get them to try again.
Keep your lure really low to the ground, so your dog can lift their back legs up higher. This will become a critical part of your training later.
Orbiting the Treibball
NEW to our trick dog program! If you've taken this course before, here's a new challenge!
Your dog should have a strong foundation in the foot target (no lure needed) or nose target before starting this trick.
Warm your dog up on the nose target or foot target first, so your dog knows what "game" you're playing.
Take it slow & bear in mind that Batman is a 6 year old dog trainer's dog & it's typically not fair to compare. It takes time and patience to teach anything, but especially tricks that require your dog is away from you.