Miles’ Trick Dog Story
Last year, The American Kennel Club debuted a new Trick Dog titling path. Over the winter holidays, Miles and I were itching for something fun to put our minds to, so I decided to check it out. Miles and I really enjoy both the fun and challenge of trick training, so it was a perfect match for our winter blues. Miles knows a lot of tricks, so we had an evaluator judge the first levels all at once. When we sent the final Champion documentation to the AKC, I received a personal note from the director of AKC Canine Good Citizen:
Great working dog and great tricks. What a nice attitude!
– Mary Burch, AKC
Tricks are all about entertainment, but make no mistake, a skilled Trick Dog is a working dog! Introductory tricks are an fantastic way to realize how you and your dog learn. Trick training is all about teamwork: you don’t “train” the dog, but rather, you work together. At the advanced levels, Trick dogs learn tasks that don’t come naturally or intuitively to their species. Learning complex tricks for a dog is akin to a human learning high-level math! If you can focus and exercise your brain, bit by bit, a new language on a different plane will unfold. This kind of learning takes patience and perseverance from both the dog and the person, and working through the compensatory brain cramping. Thank you to AKC for recognizing the value and working nature of trick training and Trick Dogs.
Wow! Great Job! Fantastic Teamwork!
Jorgi Martin, DMWYD
After that wonderful experience, I discovered that the AKC path began in partnership with the Trick Dog organization, Do More With Your Dog. I was curious to check out the history behind the new titles, so we did that path too. The DMWYD path is based on the types of skills necessary for dogs working in the film and TV industries. To earn the DMWYD Championship, a dog must show proficiency in 9 skill areas, including: balancing and coordination, ability to carry objects or go to marks on cue, working from a distance and from only silent cues, and performing sequences from only one cue. This path was challenging, and we learned a great deal through the self-directed process. Who says terriers can’t do it all?
Welsh Terrier Trick Dog Videos
Miles’ Pacific Northwest Workout – Here is shorted version of our AKC Trick Dog Champion application routine. Things that make this video special: I took the footage myself while one-handedly moving around and instructing Miles to do tricks! It is shot on my phone in the pouring rain, and all of the footage was shot in one take.
Miles’ Crate Trick – With a one-word verbal cue, Miles will open his crate door, rush inside, shut the door, and then lie down. This is a fun demonstration that tricks can be very useful! The cutest part is that if the crate door gets caught on the ground, I’ve taught Miles to make sure to keep trying until the door is shut.
Welsh Terrier Trick Dog Photographs
Tricks aren’t the easiest to photograph, but heck, why not try? The moments captured performing tricks are so cute!
Tricks are impressive because they are not natural or intuitive to dogs. The magic of tricks begins with the process of learning, and every team develops their own secret language. The spirit of this teamwork shows in the performance.
“Welsh Terriers are impossible to train. Welsh Terriers won’t work with you, they’ll work against you. Welsh Terriers are very stubborn. Welsh Terriers are naughty.” But are they? I think they are just different. They were bred for a purpose: to be fearless, scrappy, intelligent and independent hunters. I really like that the AKC now offers the Trick Dog path. In our case, these titles demonstrate that a Welsh Terrier can be a teammate who loves to work with a person, and can’t get enough of a different kind of work.
The new AKC Trick Titling path recognizes the importance of people and dogs finding different and engaging ways to work together.
Sit pretty is clearly the most photogenic trick! It requires trained and practiced strength-building to hold. Missing from the above photo are the 100+ tourists standing behind us shrieking with excitement and taking photos and videos on their cellphones.
A Hard Little Worker!
Thank you for being a part of our Trick Dog journey!
What do you think about Trick Dogs?
I am so excited to see all of the teams that come from this brand-new AKC path!
Miles! You are the cutest Welsh Terrier Trick Dog Champion! I love your tail wagging while playing dead! I love your crate trick! You closing yourself in with your little squirrel tail door handle! But the cutest? You with one paw on each of four pods! How adorable! Love your happy happy face throughout… so amazing! You are the best inspiration for the Welsh Terrier Breed in the world! So proud to know you! Sally will be right behind you!shes got her Novice… I love you guys to pieces!
Darcy and Sally
Go Sally! Go Sally! GO SALLY!!!!!!!!
Oh, Miles! Congratulations, you record holder, you!! FIRST Welsh Terrier Trick Dog Champion. ??? We are speechless watching the videos. We are definitely calling our agent friends in Los Angeles. We might have to add a middle name, or nom de plume, for the videographer—Coppola. George is already referring to himself as FOM&E. Love you two ❤️
Thank you D & G & G! 🙂
You two have done it again! Congrats on your new and exciting sport!
When will I see you guys again??!
Oh Emma and Miles! You two are so remarkable! You are both so fortunate to have each other! I love how Miles looks like he is smiling and clearly enjoying performing these tricks! He seems like such an eager little fellow. I loved the video, the tricks your encouraging voice giving him commands and his enthusiasm. You are an inspiration to me and my next Welshie! Go Miles!!! Go Emma!! Congratulations!!
Thank you Kim! I agree about being fortunate. <3 <3 <3 Miles LOVES training of all kinds, also agreed! I really appreciate your thoughtful comment about my voice. Stay in touch and thank you so much for the support!
This is so exciting! You both are an inspiration! It is wonderful to see the expansive potential of the breed!
Thank you Jo! I agree completely! They are different, and often so underestimated. GO TEAM TERRIER!!!
LOVE you guys! Impressive and adorable…
Thank you Karen, from one “impressive” team to another 😉 HUGE congratulations on your award! 😉
You are so adorable, Miles, and so smart! Congratulations to you both!
Thank you sweet Molly! GO TEAM TERRIER!!!!
Wow guys! This is so awesome!! By far my favorite tricks from the first video are the 4 paws on the pods (can’t imagine how you taught that!) and “get in a box”. Haha. Then I watched the second video and I was like whoa! I’ve been doing this wrong for Oliver’s whole life – I should have trained him to put himself in his crate for the thousands of times he’s in there. I’m curious how many segments or steps that was broken into when you taught it before it’s joined as a sequence.
I love that you’re a Trick Dog Champion now too Miles – great work!! I never fail to be amazed by you both!
Oh my that trick was SO HARD!!! We were taking a class on Canine Conditioning and that part of the skills, the presenter basically said “have your dog walk over the pods, then reward, voila!” They are not a natural surface, being so bumpy. Miles would try to avoid them like hot lava, in the most hilarious ways! 🙂 Any complex trick or skill is definitely trained in parts!
Oh my gosh!! Miles and Emma this is amazing stuff. Congratulations on your new title of Trick Dog Champion! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all of the tricks but paws down my favorite is Miles opening and closing the crate door….I see the next trick for Knox to learn =) My next favorite is the back paws on the tree trunk and the front paws on the ground. Can’t imagine how you trained Miles to do that. You two are such a great team and super smart!
Thank you Cheryl! So much!!! I agree, that trick is my favorite too. I also like that you appreciate body awareness skills — they are so useful! Knox has such a bright future ahead of him — and Team Terrier will be better for it!
Super work! ?
Thank you dear Sharon! Miles and I are honored to make his breeder proud. We love you! And I am forever grateful!