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!
Emma Kesler, CDBC, CPDT-KA is an award winning certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Dog Trainer who has worked exclusively virtually with clients from across the world for the past decade. Emma shares her life with her Welsh Terrier copilot Miles.
This is for all of the wild dogs out there, for the people who love them, and for those who want get to know them. You've come to the right place. 🐶
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