Training began for Jax on the day he joined the Majerle family of Phoenix, AZ. He was nine weeks old.
“From day one,” Brandi Majerle said. “At meal time, instead of putting down a bowl full of his food, I treated each meal as a training session. I hand fed him small bites of food while we worked on commands. At that time, he was eating four to five times a day, resulting in lots of training sessions.”
They started with simple skills, like sit, down and wait. The puppy was enthusiastic and picked up the actions quickly. Sometimes he offered behaviors before even being asked.
After mastering the basics, Brandi started connecting tricks, first asking him to sit-down-sit-down. With his short puppy attention span, this was a little more challenging, but they kept at it, and before they knew it, Jax was doing “puppy push-ups.”
“He was doing so well,” Brandi said. “I thought ‘Let’s keep going and see if he can earn a Novice Trick Dog title’… We started out with a fun trick, that was trainable by using food as a lure – spin. He kept his eyes on the food and was spinning circles within seconds.”
From there, the pair just kept working on trick after trick until he had 11 tricks to show off to his evaluator. At just 12 weeks old, Jax earned the AKC Novice Trick Dog Title (TKN).
“We haven’t stopped there! We just keep adding tricks; he’s already mastered ‘giving his paw/shake’ and ‘head down.’”
To learn more about the new AKC Trick Dog program, click here: http://www.akc.org/trick-dog/