A Little Competition Can Be a Good Thing, Right?

Back in August I read one of Pamela’s excellent “Puppiness Project” posts over at Something Wagging This Way Comes. This one was regarding competition and how it can be healthy for us and our dogs. While I’ve never considered myself a competitive person, preferring to step aside to let others win, since I’ve read the aforementioned article I’ve realized there are  several areas in which I am always motivated to push myself forward. For the most part I am happy to come out somewhere in the middle – or even at the end – but when it comes to the few things I actually take pride in (imagine that), it irks me when I don’t finish on top.

Silly dog tricks are one of the accomplishments I hold most dear. Nothing motivates me to train with Shiva more than a dog performing a trick she doesn’t already know.* Screw agility or competitive obedience. Who cares if she never learns how to be calm when a stranger knocks on the door? In my mind it is far more important for her to walk backwards while standing on two legs. That is a much more valuable life skill.

Case in point, when I first saw the below commercial**  I immediately started thinking of what I could use to teach my dog how to ride on a scooter. It’s been a lazy summer for us training-wise, but Samsung has given me the boost I’ve needed to get back to work.

I’ve always thought there should be some sort of competition or event to showcase tricks. Though there are performance groups like Super Dogs, sadly there isn’t anything similar in my area.  Unless one appears on a reality show, there doesn’t seem to be a way to get any recognition for our hard work. I mean, blogging is great and all, but it doesn’t come with a pretty ribbon or even a cool title.

 This has bummed me out until the author of The Elka Almanac shared a link to a wicked online program organized by Kyra Sundance. Apparently, all I need to do is fill out a form, get a witness to sign it, and Shiva can earn her very first trick dog title! This honour not only comes with an official certificate and recognition on the Do More With Your Dog website, but we would finally be able to add a professional-sounding suffix to Shiva’s name! And then after that, we could try for her intermediate title, and then advanced, and just maybe Shiva will eventually work her way to being a Trick Dog Champion! Just think of all the initials she will rack up!

Because apparently that is what it’s all about.

Please tell me I am not alone in my thirst for dog trick glory. Is there anything that makes you feel competitive?

*Unless the dog is Jesse the Jack Russell. Because seriously? I am almost positive he is part terrier, part monkey. That dog is just ridiculous.

**I love this commercial for so many reasons and can’t watch it too many times. What made me smile the most is that the dog appears to be a mixed breed. No fancy border collie necessary for these killer tricks!

11 thoughts on “A Little Competition Can Be a Good Thing, Right?

  1. You know what’s funny? Every time I see a dog do a cool trick, I think of you & Shiva. Maybe I’ll start sending you all the tricks I find so the two of you can bring my daydreams to life ;0)

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  2. I think everyone probably gets some sort of satisfaction from having their dog noticed for good behavior or a cool trick. You have taught Shiva some cool things so it’s understandable that you’d want to show her off!

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  3. There is always room on late night TV for “stupid dog tricks.” They pay for appearances too.

    My dogs have pretty much mastered “Be independent.” Does that count?

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  4. I saw someone else talking about that trick dog title, too! It seems made for you and Shiva. I think you’ll have that title in no time!

    I know that I am competitive, but I’m not sure how to describe exactly how. I know that I compare my photography to other people’s a lot, and it’s important to me that our dogs be well behaved. That makes life with Kuster difficult at times…

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  5. I love that commercial – what a great dog!! I can’t wait to see all of the tricks that you and Shiva come up with (I know we are all just bloggers . .but we will be cheering you on!!)

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  6. Thanks for the shout out. Glad it got you thinking about your competitive streak.

    You don’t mind if I don’t even try to match you for cute dog tricks, right? I just spent twenty minutes demonstrating to our trainer that I can’t even teach a basic heel. Honey can learn anything. But I can’t teach. 😦

    I hope you’ll show lots of video evidence of your progress. And, if I were you, I’d see if Samsung is willing to give you a phone since you cited them as your inspiration. 🙂

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  7. I’m one of those people who can’t figure out how to teach a dog tricks! I’ve taught them a little about touch, by using my hand but when I move my hand up high they don’t seem to get that I want them to jump up and touch my hand.

    I would be happy teaching Delilah how to heel on command and would be tickled beyond belief if she could just make it through the agility course without stopping to check out the tunnel for treats.

    I will live vicariously through you and Shiva. 🙂

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