The Benefits of Tricks Training for Dogs (And Cats) with Erica Beckwith (PPiC Ep 6)

The Pawsitive Post in Conversation with special guest Erica Beckwith of A Matter of Manners Dog Training.

Erica Beckwith, Zazie Todd, and Kristi Benson chat about training tricks to dogs and cats

By Zazie Todd PhD

Teaching tricks to your dog is fun and cute, and a great way to improve the human-animal bond. Plus, you get to show off how adorable your pet is.

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Training Tricks with Your Dog (and Cat)

Erica Beckwith is the talented tricks trainer behind A Matter of Manners Dog Training, where she does behaviour consults for dogs and cats and runs online classes to teach a variety of tricks including peekaboo, sit pretty, chorus line kicks, and how to take a selfie with your dog. 

Kristi Benson and I spoke to Erica about why she loves teaching tricks, where she finds the motivation to spend time working on tricks with her dogs, and what her favourite tricks are. As well, we get some tips on how to train your dog so that you can get a better selfie with them, and the things to consider when teaching tricks to your cat.

In news, Kristi’s courses now have CEUs available and there are some new courses coming soon. And Zazie will be teaching Making Pets Happy: The Role of Positive Experiences in Good Animal Welfare for the IAABC Foundation.

Plus, of course, in the final section we share the books we are reading right now.

About Erica Beckwith: Erica Beckwith of A Matter of Manners Dog Training in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Erica is an amazing positive reinforcement trainer who first got into dogs as a volunteer at Busan Abandoned Pet Sanctuary in South Korea. After moving back to America, Erica studied at the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers where she got her CTC. Erica is also a CBCC-KA and a Fear Free certified professional. Erica loves cats too, and earlier this year she graduated with a certificate in Advanced Feline behaviour for Cat Professionals with Distinction from International Cat Care.


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The schedule of Erica’s online tricks classes is here and Take a Selfie Together will be on Saturday, September 17th.  

See Erica’s dogs (including Ruckus and the trumpet) in the video Yes Sir, That’s My Baby from The Academy for Dog Trainers.  

Kristi Benson’s website and courses:

Making pets happy: The role of positive experiences in good animal welfare. IAABC Foundation, 24 September 2022, 1:00-4:10pm PDT.  

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The books we chat about:

Bitch: On The Female of the Species by Lucy Cooke is the Animal Book Club choice. Learn more about the Animal Book Club.  

I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark.

Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter (Author), Dave Stevenson (Illustrator)

The Cat Who Saved Books: A Novel by Sosuke Natsukawa, translated by Louise Heal Kawai. 

The books are available from all good bookstores and Companion Animal Psychology’s Amazon store: 

Kristi Benson is an honours graduate of the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers, where she earned her Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC). She also has gained her PCBC-A credential from the Pet Professional Accreditation Board. She has recently moved to beautiful northern British Columbia, where she will continue to help dog guardians through online teaching and consultations. Kristi is on staff at the Academy for Dog Trainers, helping to shape the next generation of canine professionals. Kristi’s dogs are rescue sled dogs, mostly retired and thoroughly enjoying a good snooze in front of the woodstove.

Follow Kristi on Facebook and Twitter.   

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and two cats. 

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