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Trick Dog

Rules For The 2019 AKC Trick Dog Competition


Attention AKC Trick Dogs! We are pleased to Announce the First AKC Trick Dog National Competition.

AKC Elite Performer Trick Dogs everywhere can participate in this inaugural event.

How it works: Submit a video of your dog’s AKC Trick Dog routine.

As long as your dog has the Elite Performer Trick Dog title (by September 2, 2019), you can submit a routine.

If you have more than one great routine, you may submit up to two videos (per dog) to the competition. If two videos for a dog are submitted, only one can win.

  • The routine may, but does not have to adhere to all of the requirements for earning your AKC Elite Performer Trick Dog title. For example, the Elite Performer title requires that you use at least 5 props and 5 Performer level tricks. While you don’t have to do this in your submission for the 2019 competition, keep in mind that performances with props and higher level tricks may be likely to score better.
  • The routine must be no longer than 6 minutes (not including the set-up or take down of props). A minimum of 10 tricks should be included.
  • The video must be shot in one continuous take as if the dog was performing their routine at a show.
  • As is the case with all Elite Performer routines, there must be a theme or story. For this virtual competition, you may, but are not required to, include an audience in the video.

  • The routine may include music and props. A script may be read by a helper, the handler may tell the story, the video may include written words to narrate the story, or the handler can use music to depict the mood (e.g., the story is the dog goes to France and French music plays as the dog does the tricks).

  • Handlers may wear costumes; dogs may wear a decorative collar or neck ruffle but may not wear costumes.

  • You may use a new video, a video previously submitted to AKC for review, or a video of a past trick dog performance.

  • The dog must be living at the time of the submission.

  • For the video, keep in mind that AKC would like to post the winning video. Think about the background (e.g., not your kitchen) and your style of dress (e.g., shoes are a good thing!)

  • The routines will be judged based on:

    • creativity

    • fluency (accuracy of tricks, difficulty)

    • flow from one trick to the next

    • handling skills

    • entertainment value

    • overall impression (background, etc.)

  • The application including the video link must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 1, 2019.

Submissions may be sent starting September 2, 2019.

The winner of the 2019 AKC Trick Dog Competition will receive a cash prize of $500 and two semi-finalists will each receive $250. The winners will be featured in AKC media, their videos will be on the AKC Trick Dog web page, and they will receive a commemorative plaque.

The winner will be announced December 2, 2019.

For more details and an application to submit a video, see: