Congratulations to Force Free Fido students Shawn and Lucas!
I love a chance to brag on my training partners. Lucas the Rough Collie just earned his Novice Trick Dog title and his Intermediate Trick Dog title, all in one weekend. As if getting two titles in one weekend wasn’t impressive enough already, he is only the eleventh Rough Collie ever in the world to reach the Intermediate level in this sport. Lucas and his mom Shawn have an amazing relationship, and it’s an absolute joy to train with them.
Shawn, keep us updated on your progress so the Force Free Fido community can cheer Lucas on all the way to the championship title! Can’t wait to see more ribbons on that wall 🙂
And congratulations to Indi, too!
Not wanting to be left behind by his best friend Lucas, Force Free Fido demo dog Indi also earned his Novice Trick Dog title this week and is working hard toward his Intermediate title. Stay tuned for updates as we pursue our championship, too!
Why train tricks?
Trick training is a great enrichment activity, especially since it can be done in “bite sized” increments, which makes it a convenient option for busy families. Keeping a dog mentally stimulated can remove the incentive for boredom-related behaviors like barking, chewing and pacing.
Trick training is also a wonderful way to bring some joy into your interactions with your dog. While Force Free Fido students know that obedience and manners training can be joyful and low-stress too, many find trick training especially pleasant because there’s no risk, no pressure. The just-for-fun attitude helps people feel more comfortable with opening up and experimenting with the training process, which is always a good thing.
With clicker training, you can teach your dog how to perform a wide assortment of tricks, from just-for-fun stunts like dramatically playing dead, to tricks with real-world application like teaching your dog how to file his own nails.
As a deaf dog advocate and the owner of a disabled dog, one of my favorite things about trick dog training is that it can be customized to work with dogs of any ability level, with any physical attributes. Many sports either put disabled dogs at a disadvantage or outright ban them from competition (for example, the AKC does not allow deaf dogs to compete in many of their sports, including obedience, rally and agility). Trick dog training allows you to work with what you’ve got. My dog Haven is deaf and half blind, but she can jump through a hula hoop like a champion. And I respect any sport that allows me to show the world how very, very able my disabled dog is.