For the love of Tricks ! Feature By Karen Jordan :: Photos by Noreen Bennett

With Halloween right around the corner there is a way that you can get involved in a few tricks of your own. Earlier this year, The American Kennel Club launched the latest titling program called AKC Trick Dog. Many collie performance exhibitors and their collies jumped right into this new venue. If you were thinking that you might want to break into performance -- this would be a great place to start. Basically, there are four levels to the program, starting with Novice Trick Dog (TKN) then on to Intermediate Trick Dog (TKI), followed by Advanced Trick Dog (TKA) and putting it all together with Trick Dog Performer (TKP).

Mary Valentine's "Brooklyn"

If your Collie has a Canine Good Citizen (CGC), you are already half way to the Novice title. It takes 10 tricks to attain the TKN. The CGC counts as five of the required tricks. You just need to perfect five other tricks for the title. I am betting that your collie may know several of the tricks already. Below is the full list of Novice Tricks which include tricks like Bark on cue, High five, Kiss and Fetch it and give to name a few. At the very end of the list is "other" which looks to me like you can fill in a trick your collie may know that is not on the list. This reminded me of a collie we owned back in the 90s -- "Ragtime's" trick would have definitely fit into the "other" category. Of course, he already had the instincts to howl. He showed off this trait every time a fire truck siren would roar by our house. Without too much effort and coaxing, I actually taught him to howl on command -- and I eventually got him to do it with one word. I had perfected this one trick so well that he could start softly with a wispy howl and then crescendo to a full-throated howl. Although to be honest, I could never reverse it and start loud and go back to soft. Once the volume went up, there was no bringing him back down. Now I do admit that this was just a fun trick, not one of the tricks that could be counted as life saving, like "come when called." But it amazed those who saw him do it and it brought tons of smiles as well and I really believe that Ragtime enjoyed all of it. I know I loved it.

Here is the  full list of Novice Tricks

Balance beam (walk on low board a few inches off floor)

Bark on cue (“Speak”)

Crawl (dog on belly, crawls at least five feet)

Fetch it and give (ball, toy, etc- bring to handler, release)

Find it (find treat hidden under cup)

Get your (leash, brush, name of toy)

Get in (gets in box)

Get on (gets on low platform or step - four paws)

Hand signals (down, sit, or come)

High five

Hold (three seconds)

Jump (through a low hoop or over a low bar)

Kennel up (go in crate, stay in until released)

Kiss (point to cheek)

Paws up (two front paws on low stool or step

Push-ups (sit, down, sit, down, sit, down)

Shake hands

Spin in circle

Touch it (hand or target stick)

Tunnel (agility tunnel or child’s tunnel)

Other: handler’s choice

Noreen Bennett's "Suede" shows off his dancing moves

Novice Trick Dog (TKN): The dog performs 10 skills from the Novice list. If a dog has a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificate or title on record at AKC, it can do five Novice tricks (CGC + 5) to earn the Novice title.

• Intermediate Trick Dog (TKI): The dog must have the Novice title, plus perform 10 Intermediate tricks.

• Advanced Trick Dog (TKA): The dog must have the Intermediate title, plus perform five tricks from the Advanced list.

• Trick Dog Performer (TKP): In this title, handlers perform a short routine with at least 10 tricks previously learned.

Carol Lariviere's "Cloudy"
Noreen Bennett's "Sequel" touches the fence.

Below is a sample video and a variety of links to learn more about the New AKC Trick Dog Titling Program. Happy training!

Watch AKC Trick Dog Training Videos

About Trick Dog

Frequently Asked Questions

Trick Dog Forms

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