Friday 19 January 2018

WATCH: Ireland's top dogs show off skateboard, football and singing tricks

Irish dogs are bringing their A game to Ireland's Top Dog competition

Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Can your dog collect the post, sing along to the radio and turn out some impressive skateboard tricks?

Dog-lovers nationwide are filming their dogs' best tricks for Independent.ie's Ireland's Top Dog competition - and Sadie the Retriever has brought her A game.

Skateboard tricks and walking backwards are just the start of it. The golden retriever can also spin on command, tidy up her toys after play-time and wipe her paws on the mat before she comes into the house.

But Sadie has some competiton. Simba, the four-year-old jug [Jack Russell Pug mix] is described as her owner as "full of beans and a total diva". She could also give Ronaldo a run for his money, as she has her 'heading the ball' trick down to a tee.

Meanwhile, Gizmo's party trick is recognising the dreaded phone alarm tune - and singing along to it.

Charlie is another singer - his owner Helen Porter says he sings in the car when they're heading out for a walk.

"He picks up a tune he likes, not every tune, and then makes those funny noises," Helen said.

Suzie is another contender for the win - when stuck outside, the dog simply opens the sliding door with a combination of nose and paw work.

If you think your dog can do better, be sure to enter Independent.ie's Ireland's Top Do competition.

Judge Alison Ramsey, who works with families with dogs on a one-to-one basis, said you can teach a dog a new trick "no matter how many grey hairs they have."

She also said sometimes it is easier to teach an older dog a trick, as younger dogs may have trouble focusing on a task.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Alison said teaching a dog a new trick is also a great benefit to the dog's confidence.

"Set yourself up with some tasty food and have a clear plan of what you would like to teach your dog," Alison advised dog owners.

"Pick a quiet spot in the house with minimal distractions.

"Break the trick down into tiny steps and reward your dog with a tasty treat for each increment. Limit yourself to five minutes as that is a long time for them to have to puzzle out what you are asking them to do.

"Remember it should never feel like homework, for dog or trainer."

Independent.ie are running its inaugural Ireland's Top Dog competition. Readers can enter three prizes (Ireland's Best-Looking Dog, Ireland's Best Trick and the Lifetime Achievement Award) until midnight, October 21st.

See all the details here

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