Tricks for Maci and I are more then just a fun way to bond.
For her, when we go places or if someone is coming into our home, tricks are a way to increase confidence, distract and provide people nearby a means to enjoy her without petting. I've noticed over the years that when she does her tricks, she relaxes.
For me, everytime I train a new trick, I am reminded of the experience and feelings my clients have when they are attempting something new with their dog. For example, it could be the excitment of a jump in learning or when I realize I might be expecting too much too soon and need to step back or re-think an approach.
One way that we take our trick training to the next level is by formally aquiring AKC Trick Titles. Recently Maci completed the Intermediate level. In order to obtain the title, I emailed videos of 10 tricks (chosen from the list) for review by an AKC Trick Dog Evaluator. Then submitted the signed tricks checklist, title application and fee to the AKC.
Here are the 10 tricks that Maci did to earn her Intermediate (TKI) Title:
Go to place (from 10 ft.)
Push button to make a sound
Lick lips ("handler's choice"; captured the behavior and placed it on a verbal cue of "yum")
Light on ("handler's choice": uses nose to turn on a light switch, shaped from targeting)
I am also an AKC approved Trick Dog Evaluator, if you are interested to pursing titles with your dog, feel free to reach out to me for support.
Next up, we start working on the Advanced title! Until then.. keep clicking and treating my friends!