I love YouTube. I find so much great training stuff on there. (cough cough KikoPup cough) It is also a great place for watching funny videos when you are bored or need a pick me up. This week I have been watching some of the Crufts dog show in England. Specifically the Freestyle videos. Check it out:
Most of the dogs I love don't place well but I don't care. It is a blast to watch regardless. I'm not sure I will ever be at the stage to do a full routine like this but I am having fun teaching Jenny some of the moves for freestyle. It is basically stringing tricks and skills together and adding music. Since she loves to train it is a fun way for us to work together.
Training tricks is a great way to really hone communication between each other. It requires you to sometimes think outside the box. When I was just starting in training I didn't value tricks very much. Now I try to teach all dogs some tricks. Things like ringing a bell, (can be used for a dog to ask to go out to potty) fetch, (a great way to exercise a dog when a walk isn't possible) and sit pretty (perfect for a shelter dog to grab some attention) all have value beyond the actual trick. It teaches the dog how to work with a person as a team member. It keeps training fun. It looks like fun and games because it is. Try teaching those dogs by using corrections and see what happens. Do you want to show off how smart your dog is? Teach them a cool trick and all your friends will be impressed. For some shelter dogs a trick can be a lifesaver. Tricks aren't just for kids anymore!