Many top dog sport handlers and trainers know that tricks have value well beyond human entertainment. Trick training can help a dog develop thinking, problem solving and body awareness skills, provide a busy breed with an enjoyable job, and build a strong bond between dog and handler.
In response to the increased interest in trick training and performance, AKC has launched an exciting new titling program: Trick Dog!
Four new titles are available:
- AKC Novice Trick Dog (TKN)
- AKC Intermediate Trick Dog (TKI)
- AKC Advanced Trick Dog (TKA)
- AKC Trick Dog Performer (TKP)
How do you earn these titles?
Each title requires proficiency in performing a set number of predetermined tricks or skills, some already familiar to agility, rally and obedience competitors. In each level you can even choose to add a few tricks of your own invention. These tricks will be demonstrated for an approved Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator who will sign off on your application. There will be a $20 fee for each title application.
For the Novice Trick Dog Title, an earned CGC Title counts for 5 of the 10 required tricks. For Novice, Intermediate and Advanced Trick Dog, AKC recognizes equivalent titles from Kyra Sundance’s Do More With Your Dog!™ trick titling program. The final title, Trick Dog Performer, can be approved by a CGC Evaluator, like me, or you may submit a video directly to AKC.
Who can earn these titles?
Any dog registered or listed with AKC, including mixed breeds.
How do you teach these tricks?
Some people are naturals when it comes to training tricks, but most of us need some help, especially with the more complex tricks. Internationally renowned agility trainer Sylvia Trkman has several wonderful videos on trick training available on her website: http://www.lolabuland.com/tricks/ Another good place to look is Kyra Sundance’s Do More With Your Dog!™ website. She has several trick training books available, and also organizes free online trick training Facebook groups: http://www.domorewithyourdog.com/trickdog/.
To learn more about this new AKC program and how trick training is good for dogs and their humans, visit www.akc.org/trick-dog.