You all know Tripp does a lot of tricks. You've seen many in his freestyle routines. He knows so many that I can't even remember half of them without looking at a list. But ironically, with all the filming I do of him, I have never compiled a video specifically of Tripp's tricks. Until now...
For some time, I had intended to apply for Trick Dog titles through DMWYD, partly because they count as points towards VIP's versatility certificates. As of Sept. 3, 2012 Tripp officially became an Advanced Trick Dog, thus giving him more than enough points for his VCX. (Now I still need to apply for that. Don't hold your breath. ;-)
As DMWYD states, titles also offer training goals to keep handlers motivated and focused on, well, doing more with their dog! No other organization offers recognition for the "sport" of dog tricks. I admit, I have heard the rare brush-off that it's just a "buy-a-title" thing, since lower titles are given basically on the honor system (you just have a witness confirm performance - which could be "fixed" - but really, why would anyone do that? Meanwhile Championship application requires a video submission to ensure correct performance.) But it would be unreasonable to expect everyone to have video capabilities for even Novice level, and I don't forsee organized trick dog competitions popping up across the country (how would you even judge that?)... So how else could it be done? Besides, if these weren't respectable titles, VIP would certainly not be recognizing them!
Not everyone wants to compete in mainstream trials, but many people enjoy teaching their dog tricks. Even if it only takes place in their living room, it still makes for great bonding and mental stimulation. Titles are something tangible for us humans to get in reward for our training efforts. And as previously stated, it keeps us motivated to go futher.
Ok, so getting down to the technical details... There are 5 levels of trick titles - Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, and Champion. Each level is successive to the one before it. There is a long list of tricks, organized by difficulty, from which to choose behaviors to earn the titles. Each title requires a certain number of tricks at the given level or higher. Novice requires 15 tricks (Tripp is adept at 26, and can do more - imperfectly), Intermediate requires NTD title, plus 12 tricks at the appropriate levels (Tripp knows 18, and again, a few more still in the learning stages), Advanced & Expert require the previous titles plus 5 more high level tricks (Tripp now has 8 advanced tricks and 6 expert tricks, plus a few of his own). TDCH reviews all levels and has more stringent, specific requirements and some more difficult behaviors. I'd like to get that far with Tripp some day.
So why the extreme delay in announcing this new award? I mean, besides being a master of procrastination. Well, making movies takes time... but I certainly couldn't tease you all with so many fun tricks without providing a video montage of the talented Tripp showing off! ;-) Our latest movie includes the tricks used for credit towards his ATD title, as well as a few new & original ones thrown in... after all, it's been almost a year, we've learned some new things along the way! But if you meet us on the street, don't ask me what tricks Tripp can do - I still can't remember them all! LOL