What’s Your Pet’s Best Trick?

November 23, 2011 | By | Comments (1)

We’ve all done it — bragged and bored our friends and family to tears — telling the heroic exploits of our four-legged friends.

Some of their skills were learned, such as responding properly to the verbal commands of “sit,” “stay,” “down,” and “come.” Then there were games where words were not exchanged, such as an impromptu game of “hide and seek” outside, mastered in a matter of seconds without explanation.

Others were more of the “bottom-up” than the “top-down” variety, such as the time Monkey the dog decided to craft a unique work of sculpture all his own, out of the bed blanket. An artist is born? You be the judge:

dog bed sculpture photo by jennifer mirsky

Dog Creation: Blanket Sculpture

The larger-than-life German shepherd, Rin Tin Tin, was propelled to fame — not only by his sensational leap over a nearly 12-foot obstacle at a dog show — but also by his devoted owner Leland Duncan, who was convinced his dog was going to be a movie star. Apparently, Duncan worked closely and constantly with the dog so that he could emote and act. Hollywood legend has it that Rin Tin Tin almost won the Academy Award for Best Actor until the Academy decided this would dilute the seriousness of the award. There’s a book out called Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, by Susan Orlean.

There are many reasons why teaching your pet commands and tricks is beneficial, such as establishing hierarchy and basic obedience, forging a common language between human and animal, and providing mental stimulation for your pet.

“Going to school” can be a fun activity to do with your pet, whether it’s a therapy pet class, basic obedience, or agility. And lest you think that agility courses are for dogs only, check out these feline agility competitions!

Speaking about shows and showtime, it’s not only time for Thanksgiving, it’s also time for The National Dog Show, airing on Thanksgiving Day from 12pm – 2pm. Millions of TV viewers are expected, and naturally, “there’s an app for that!” so that you can follow along on your mobile device.

What about you? What’s the best trick you taught your pet or that your pet taught you?

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