Run a facebook search for the group Wags to Wishes Sparks Team or click on the Do More With Your Dog URL at the bottom of this page. (Wags to Wishes is listed near the bottom of the page.)
Send a request to become a member of Wags to Wishes Novice Spark Team. Once you are approved you can post comments and videos to the group.
Once you have been added to the group, be sure to read the pinned post at the top of the group and to set it up to receive notifications when a new post is added so you don't miss anything.
Download / print the list of novice tricks so you can plan what you would like to work on and keep track of your progress. You can find the list on the Do More with Your Dog website or in the files section of the facebook group.
Teams typically start on the first of the month but I choose to use a more open ended approach, welcoming people to join any time and following a more relaxed timeline. I would rather give people more time to achieve proficiency rather than rushing to complete everything in a month. You are welcome to go at your own speed.
Once you have sent a request to join the group I will add you in as soon as I can (if I am on the road, it may take a few days). Sometimes I do not get notified there is a pending request to join so if you do not hear from me within a few days please contact me by e mail or facebook. Once you are added to the group, you can explore previous posts for instructions that pertain to things you would like to work on - or post a request for tips on working on specific tricks. I like to adapt the curriculum to what YOU want to learn.
If you join, please participate by submitting requests, videos, questions and comments. Participants are encouraged to comment on videos and cheer other participants on.
Looking forward to meeting you and your dog on line
If you have never trained a dog before, or have never done training using a marker-reinforcement approach, I strongly recommend that you check out the Canis on-line training program. This is a free program and will give you the basics of our training approach in seven lessons.
Free On-line Trick Training!
Trick training has many benefits!
- trick training can be done in small chunks and help you build a solid habit of training a little each day
- tricks build stamina, strength and coordination in your dog
- trick training builds focus and attention
- tricks build good behaviours - you can consider (and train) all behaviours as tricks.
- trick training can be done at any age - young puppies can begin trick training immediately and old dogs CAN learn new tricks! (I do recommend that tricks be age appropriate so if you have a dog that is either very young or old, consider safety first and ask before you start training tricks that require significant physical effort, repetitive action (especially involving the spine), or require your dog to achieve height above the ground or pull weights). Weave poles and jumping tricks for example should be done with caution in very young or old dogs.
- you choose what you wish to train - there is no set agenda, and you don't have to keep up with anyone else. You can take breaks if life takes over and come back to it when things settle down (just let me know).
- and finally, when we approach training behaviours as trick training, we tend to be more successful in keeping it light and fun - for both ourselves and our dogs. Keeping it fun enhances success!
How does it work?
This training is done through a facebook group.
Information on how to train a variety of tricks is posted on the facebook group but more importantly, you pick the tricks you want to work on and I will help on line with guidance on training methods and suggestions. You train at home and videotape yourself and your dog performing the tricks. Don't worry - your videos do not have to fancy or professional quality. A cell phone video is quite sufficient and no video editing is necessary (in fact, unedited video is preferable). At each level there is a list of potential tricks you can choose from to achieve your title.
submit your videos, I will sign off your tricks on the application form.
When you have demonstrated proficiency in 15 novice tricks, I will send you an electronic copy of the form which you can submit on line to Do More with Your Dog with the application fee. (Successful completion earns you a lovely certificate to display and your dog can add the letters NTD (Novice Trick Dog) to his name.)
There is great flexibility in which tricks you do - there are over 80 trick options for the novice title and you only need to demonstrate 15. Once you have done your novice title, you can go on to other levels....all the way up to Trick Dog Champion.
If you already have a large repertoire of tricks, you can submit videos to me and be signed off and move up right away to the intermediate or higher class.
How much does it cost?
The on line classes are free!
The submission cost for titles from Novice through Expert is ~$20 (USD).
For information on the cost of the TDCh title see the DMWYD website.
What if you need to work on important basic behaviours?
You can still join the class. There are many obedience and good behaviour 'tricks' that are part of the title process. We can teach any behaviour as a trick. Your dog does not differentiate a trick from any other important behaviour - except perhaps as your behaviour changes in the training process. Sometimes when we are training important obedience and manners behaviours we get a bit serious and invested - that can lead you to unintentionally put too much pressure on your dog as you train. If you approach all behaviours as one form or other of a trick, you can stay a bit more relaxed and make it easier for your dog to learn!
There are no pre-requisites for the novice class but it is helpful if you have had some experience with positive training methods. If you have no experience with training, contact me before signing up so I can point you to resources that will help you jump into the training with confidence. You are encouraged to ask questions throughout the process and one of my goals in providing this class is to help you become a better trainer - not just achieve your title. The new skills you learn in the class will be applicable to training anything.