I achieved something special. Or at least my mom thinks it is special. I recently got my AKC Trick Dog Elite Performer title!
This is an accomplishment that my mom never thought we would achieve. Not because she doubted my abilities. It was quite the contrary. She doubted herself.
You may remember my post… A service dog earns AKC trick dog titles! Where I told you about earning four trick dog titles. These previous four titles are Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Performer. You can see the videos for each level in that post.
I needed to perform ten tricks for each of those titles. Each level had specific requirements. And the difficulty increased as the levels progressed.
But the tricks could be done individually. And then combined together in the video. There could be a variety of tricks without a theme.
Although for my Performer title I did have a theme. The tricks encompassed a day in my life as a service dog. But they were still performed individually and then edited together.
The Elite Performer required a theme. And the tricks had to tell a story. In the past, this always needed to be performed in front of a group. Although with Covid it can now be submitted in a video.
My mom tossed around a lot of ideas for a theme or story. And finally decided that I could host a Game Night for my friends. It sounded fun. So I was eager to learn my new tricks.
This took a lot of planning. And many changes to the storyline. But finally, we decided on my ten tricks. And got the story to flow smoothly.
Inside the front cover of my “Game Night!” rule book, that my mom made for me!
My mom bought me a wide variety of games to try. I had fun learning how to play them. And most times, I beat my mom. Although sometimes I let her win. But don’t tell her!
Some of the games are Tic Tac Tony, Honey Bee Tree, a card game, ring toss, and tug of war. But my favorite is Toilet Trouble.
When my mom was looking for games, she found one called Toilet Trouble. It has a toilet I can flush. This is perfect because one of my favorite tasks I do to help my mom is flush the toilet. But unlike a real toilet, this one sometimes squirts water when it is flushed. And I get wet!
My Toilet Trouble game!
Once I learned all of my tricks my mom videoed our performance. Although she had the settings on the camera wrong. So the quality of the video isn’t as good as she had hoped for.
I’m sure she will redo the video at some point. But it hasn’t happened yet. And now she may just tweak the storyline a bit before redoing the video. So she can enter it in a National competition.
Because recently my mom found out that AKC offers a National Trick Dog competition for dogs who have received their Elite Performer title. And she thinks we should enter.
But there is a time limit of six minutes. So we will have to make some changes and adjust my routine. My mom has some ideas on how to do this. Which will involve removing one trick that takes quite a bit of time. And adding another game.
My mom and I have had lots of fun earning these trick dog titles. The training we do together strengthens our bond, relationship, and ability to communicate.
My mom and I have fun playing Tic Tac Tony!
Even though I have completed these trick dog titles, my mom and I still practice the tricks. And play my favorite games from the Elite Performer routine.
As I said above, each title requires ten tricks. None of the tricks can be repeated. Which means I have learned fifty different tricks!
So does this make me a trick dog? Well, not really. Because my real job is being a service dog. But I like to do tricks, too!