Beginner’s Guide to AKC Trick Dog Training

Training your dog to perform tricks can be a fun and rewarding experience for both pet owners and dog sports competitors. The AKC Trick Dog program is a great way to bond with your dog and provide mental and physical exercise.

You can earn Trick Dog titles from the comfort of your home, with AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluators judging video submissions. Additionally, many dog shows and clubs offer opportunities to earn titles in person at their events.

Understanding Trick Dog Competitions

In Trick Dog competitions, dogs perform individual tricks to earn titles. Tricks are categorized by difficulty, with higher levels requiring more challenging tricks. At the highest level, dogs perform routines that tell a story.

Trick training has a rich history, with famous canine actors like Rin Tin Tin and Lassie showcasing their talents on screen. The American Kennel Club introduced Trick Dog as a title-earning sport in 2017, which has since become popular among dog owners.

AKC Trick Dog Titles

To earn Trick Dog titles, dogs must be at least four months old. There are five different titles that can be earned: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Performer, and Elite Performer. Each level has specific requirements and tricks to be performed.

Getting Started in Trick Dog

You can start training your dog at home using the AKC Trick Dog Evaluator Guide, which provides details on completing each titling level. Whether you’re teaching your puppy or working with an older dog, trick training is a great way to provide mental stimulation.

National Trick Dog Competition

In 2019, the AKC introduced the National Trick Dog Competition to showcase the creativity and skill of dogs performing tricks. This competition features dogs with Elite Performer titles and their handlers, who perform routines that tell a story and involve props.

Overall winners, finalists, and outstanding performances are determined by judges, with special awards given to top dogs of each breed and Junior Handlers participating with their dogs.


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Beginner’s Guide to AKC Trick Dog Training

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