By Carol Bryant
Anderson Cooper is a name synonymous with news even when it’s gone to the dogs. In the case of CJ Jackson, Anderson Cooper was also synonymous with showcasing her 6-year-old Havanese, Jaz, recently.
Jaz is a happy, healthy, pistol full of energy and love, and after meeting her (and her mom) in person, my perception of dogs and “tricks” was changed. I was never one of those dog moms who was a big fan of performing dogs. And along came Jaz, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in 2011.
Jaz and her mom, along with Lauren Girard and her trick dog, Paige, will be at BlogPaws in June, so be sure to extend a hand and paw and watch them work their magic.
“I got Jasmine when she was a puppy, and I started teaching her basic obedience. But she picked it up so fast, I had to come up with new things to teach her,” Jackson shared. “I didn't know how to train, but I took classes and read books. And we just learned together.”
Using positive reinforcement with clicker training for 10 minutes a day, the CJ and Jaz practiced. Thanks to a YouTube page devoted to Jaz, CJ realized she could share her pooch’s antics with the world as she continued learning and reading about training as a hobby. Their big break came when she won a national dog food contest and was featured in a commercial, web movie, and photo shoot. Shortly thereafter, Jaz landed her own talent agent.
So how exactly did she get on Anderson Cooper’s show? A mutual friend told CJ the show was looking for funny pet videos. Fifteen minutes after submitting Jaz’s video, CJ received a phone call from a producer in New York City. “ They showed most of the "New Canine Personal Assistant" video. (adding in the suitcase trick from her new video Jasmine's Dog Trick Resume), Jackson shared. The audience clapped after the clip aired, so CJ was thrilled.
What if fellow BlogPaws-ers want to teach their dog some tricks? Jackson shared some basic tenets of trick training:
- Keep the training sessions short: 10 to 15 minutes a day maximum.
- Consistency is key.
- Reward with special treats, ones the dog does not normally get during the day.
- Always end on a good note. If Jaz is having a bit of difficulty with a new trick, CJ takes a step back and lets Jaz do a trick she knows well. Finish the session and reward for that behavior.
- Keep things positive.
- Just get out and do stuff with your dog. Go to local dog events, take agility classes, become a therapy dog team (and volunteer at a hospital or nursing home.) Find what your dog loves to do, and do it! It will increase the bond between you and your dog, and help strengthen your relationship and make you a better trainer.
For more about Jaz and CJ, check out their links and YouTube channel:
Be sure to sign up for BlogPaws and come join the social media networking networking and learning along with other pet lovers, bloggers, and more.
About the Author: Carol Bryant is a writer, social media and PR guru, and frequent media contributor, having appeared on television, radio, and Oprah Radio’s Gayle King Show. She has traveled for over 18 years with dogs and is touted as a dog product and travel expert. A repeat DWAA nominee, she maintains the blog, Fidose of Reality.
What a terrific story, inspiring and fun. I have to write a short bit on my blog and post a link to this. I advocate for positive training and dog parenting, not ownership.
This is a great example of putting the relationship first like Patricia McConnell writes in The Bark magazine, “Say No to Dominance!”
Great video! And what a great way to promote positive reinforcement training! Now you have thinking about buying a parrot sized shopping cart….