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the amazing brian
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Profile of the amazing brian
Anyone know any tricks that can be done with dogs?
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Montreal, Canada
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Profile of Loual4
Probably any illusions that can be done with a rabbit can be done with a dog. The only problem you may have is the size of the dog VS the size of your props. It certainly is possible to make a production from a larger "Square circle", or a "tip over trunk". What type of dog would you be using?

You might want to see this post also.

Have a good day!

Louis Jutras
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Inner circle
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Profile of Chrystal
Hi AmazingBrian,

What helps to answer your question is knowing what breed of dog you have in mind.Knowing their characteristics and making them do specific things takes a lot of time as I've been working with my dogs for over a year.

I have three dogs , two are Old English Sheepdogs and the other is a Blue Heeler/Lab. The Old English Sheepdogs naturally try to herd things..round them up, hip check, are bouncy, comical dogs. The Blue Heeler/ Lab X has more of the Lab traits and uses his nose a lot, always sniffing at things. I would then observe the dogs and also read up on that particular breed and work my effects around that and not the other way around which would be far more difficult.

Most importantly, the dog must be used to crowds, loud noises - the sound of applause and doesn't frighten easily. Since puppyhood I've socialized one of the dogs with the intention of using him on stage and so thus exposed him to everything I could think may come up during a show. I often brought him to my magic meetings where there were large crowds and loud noises. I exposed him to traffic noises, driving in cars, other animals, people, kids,..the list goes on.

Basic obedience is a must as they should follow commands and not dash off. Sit, down, stay, should all something they listen to. If you have your dog in public it should be a good canine citizen as especially in these times when people can sue and you would be held responsible.

I did all the right things..contacted the American Kennel Society, got the name of various reputable breeders, put much consideration into which dog I should purchase as I wanted to know his history from birth if I was to use him for my stage show. Then the weirdest thing happened! I adopted a 3 year old dog that prior to my adoption led a horrible life in a puppy mill in Hong Kong. He was beaten, caged and starved until he was flown to my home in Canada. No intention of using him on stage as I just wanted to rescue him. But ...he turned out to be the better dog! He's smarter, more loyal and above all does everything I ask of him the first time.

Sooooooo I now seem like I'm contradicting myself as the point is, you never know until you start working with a dog if they are going to work out or not. I consider myself very knowlegable regarding dogs as I write an advice column on dog behavior and for three years was under contract with the Humane Education Society with my previous dog to educate the public on dog behavior and how to be kind to your pets. Shaggy, in my avatar also came from a very horrible background and yet shined when it came to entertaining crowds during our visits to schools, nursing homes and community centers. It took a while but she too was a dog that seemed to be a natural.

Sometimes you can have the smartest dog in the world but if they suddenly become people shy in crowds then you'll have to be satisfied that they may only do it for you. :O)

So my advice to you would be to read up about your dog's breed. For example:
If he/she has retriever like tendencies..these dogs are good for retrieving objects or sniffing a selected card . It's hard to give you specific advice as to what works best until you provide more info regarding the breed and what type of magic you do. Apologies for my long winded ramble. :O)

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