a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Tricks Dog Zorro

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Tricks Dog Zorro

SUMMARY: AKC titles applied for.

Last winter, Zorro and I did Circus Dog classes. Not the intense, full-day classes that you can get in some places, and the tricks were fairly basic--a lot of overlap with what I taught Remington on my own, back in the day.  And Zorro already knew several of them before we got to the class.

He loved the class, loved doing things, the attention, and the treats. He picked things up quickly: In class, we'd work on each trick for about 10-15 minutes, and for almost everything, by the end of that time he'd be doing the trick with little assistance. (Some we really struggled with, though.)  Maybe not spectacularly--for example, he'd hold something on his nose/face for a few seconds, but not a lot longer than that until we practiced a lot more.  We practiced at home on most (those we had the gear for).

At the end of it all, we put together a routine that we performed in front of the rest of the class (required for graduation).  For someone who's spoken in front of sometimes huge crowds in my life, I was by far the more nervous participant of the two of us, and despite having crib notes, left out several things (and left a key component of one of our tricks at home).  (And OMG! What's with my jeans in that video?!)

Still, the instructor verified that Zorro could do at least the minimum number tricks for each of 4 of AKC's Trick Dog titles, so filled out and signed our title application forms for Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Performer.

I'm not always a super fan of AKC, and I waffled about this for a long time, but today I registered him with AKC for  his mutt-dog (er, sorry, "Canine Partners") registration number, scanned copies of all the forms, and put them with a check into an envelope to mail on Monday. Then it's just waiting!

Here's the cleaned-up routine that I'm sending in for the Performer title.


  1. This is great, made me smile the whole way through. Super job, Ellen and Zorro!

    1. Thanks!
      We're very rusty since we haven't practiced much since March. After the time we did spend, I really should sit with him a few minutes a day and reinforce everything. So many tricks to teach, and yet-- I remain uninspired ongoing. Weird mental world I'm in. He really does love this stuff, too.\