Dog owners everywhere are taking advantage of a titling organization called Do More with Your Dog (http://domorewithyourdog.com/) to get new ideas for trick training and to get recognition for teaching their dogs new and fun tricks. Dog and owner teams can earn trick dog titles and get certificates for their achievements.
Why should you train your dog to do tricks?
Trick training has many advantages for dogs and their owners:
- Trick training is a great way for a dog and owner to have fun together, which strengthens the dog/owner bond.
- Tricks can increase canine muscle tone, flexibility, agility, and overall fitness.
- Learning tricks can help a dog “learn to learn” and the owner “learn to teach” so that future training for sports or just life skills may be easier.
- Training sessions can mentally stimulate an intelligent dog that might otherwise be using his brain to break into the food bins or unlock your front door.
- Trick training can physically tire an active dog so that he will be better behaved when you are not giving him your full attention.
- Tricks are fun to show off to family and friends!
How do you get started?
Basic obedience skills like sit, down, and stay count as tricks, but they are also useful when training a dog to do other tricks. If you have no experience dog training, consider taking a basic obedience course so that you can develop some training skills before moving into training tricks.
Then you have options. You can check out trick training books from the library or buy them on amazon.com, or view trick training tutorials on youtube. But be very careful that the books and videos you are using demonstrate methods that are both safe and humane.
Another fun way to learn safe trick training skills is to take a class at a reputable training facility. Courteous Canine offers a trick training class on a regular basis. The next one begins Sunday, September 13 at 12:30. Visit https://www.courteouscanine.com/class-schedules/ for more information.
Brenna Fender is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Tampa with her husband, two children, a Papillon (Spark), a Beagle (Wrigley), a Border Collie (Tessa), and a variety of other creatures. Tessa has agility titles, UpDog Challenge achievements, and an Expert Trick Dog Title. Brenna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can read her humor blog at www.laughingattherain.blogspot.com.