Tricks and Treats

I’ve been on a trick kick over the last couple of weeks.  Maybe it’s because Halloween is just around the corner.  But more likely, it’s because I’m back from the Worlds and USDAA Nationals with Breeze and I’m now concentrating more of my mental energy on Tai.    AND because its fun AND because I looked at some of Silvia Trkman’s videos.  Now there is a dog trainer!  See link below.

So, all week Tai has been rolling over; spinning left and right; wrapping a cone; weaving between my legs, hand targeting; backing up; sitting pretty; downing on a mousepad.     Some of these tricks are old friends we are revisiting after a lull.  Some are brand new and still in the early shaping phases – what fun.

Nearly all of these tricks have an agility benefit – building mind-body awareness or practicing maneuvers that will eventually be performed over 26″ jumps.  Although, I can’t quite figure out the connection  “rolling over” has for agility.  Anyone?  Oh and with his long body, he requires a fair bit of real estate to perform this one.

As Tai performs his “tricks”, he’s been getting lots of treats but when I seek a little break in the action, he’s been practicing his version of “Trick or Treat”…otherwise known as “HEY YOU…pay attention to me”.  We’re working on extinguishing this behavior (or at least I am).

While Tai rests calmly in his crate, he doesn’t usually choose to take a break unless it’s after a vigorous romp outdoors.  But since he sometimes tries to squeeze himself into the sheltie’s bed and since he’s nearly 10 months old, it seemed like the right time for that investment.  Here’s how that is working after an hour long hike yesterday.

More tricks on the agenda for tomorrow (Halloween)…maybe teaching Tai to “say his prayers” would be appropriate for All Saints Day (Nov 1).  I’d love to hear what tricks you have taught your dogs.

Here is the link to Silvia Trkman’s website


  • Hi Anne,

    Our rehab vet, (Dr. Carol Helfer of “Canine Peak Performance”), has prescribed “roll over” as one of the core strengthening exercises for my girls. It’s just important that you do it equally in both directions.

    Just fyi, Dr. Carol has performance dogs in agility, flyball & disc dog…

    Sue & the Vallhunds

  • Kathy

    I think Lacey has the bed situation under control. It’s new, it’s bigger, it’s better…it’s mine.

  • Julie

    Fun post, Anne! And I especially appreciate the link to Silvia’s site. The little bit I looked at it, it’s great! I will be going back for more!

    Happy Halloween!

  • mary cuccaro

    Ha! Lacey says “It’s about time the Queen got a queen size bed!”

    BTW, I also have read that rolling over is good for core strength.

  • Elisabeth Hammer

    Another enjoyable read….thanks Anne. Some day you will have to meet Otto. He has marking just like Tai!

  • Elisabeth Hammer

    Another enjoyable read….thanks Anne. I don’t know if you have ever met Otto. Tai has markings which are very much the same. Love the photo’s as I have said in the past!

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