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International Trick Dog Competition 2023 
Can your dog become the International Trick Dog Champion 2023? 

Take part in this high-profile annual competition to challenge yourself and your dog!

The overall winner will be crowned the 

International Trick Dog Champion

Plus runner-up prizes, additional prizes for individual tasks and loads of fun on the way!


The competition will consist of 7 tasks of increasing difficulty.

You'll have 2-3 weeks to submit your entry for each of the tasks.

The winners for each task in each of the classes will be awarded individual certificates.

Everyone will receive helpful individual feedback from the judges for each of their entries.

The competition is designed as a progressive training with a stretch.

We will help you to take your dog's training to the next level.

It will also be a great opportunity to celebrate your achievements along the way!

The competition attracts some of the top trick dog teams worldwide with amazing opportunities to learn, inspire and to make friends.

You can find out about the previous ITDC winners in the Hall of Fame =>

Task 7: Love and friendship
Submit your entry by the end of Sunday the 18th of February 2024

Love, friendship and trust are the core elements of our relationship with the dog(s). We would like to make it the core theme of our final Task of the ITDC 2023. 

For this task we are looking for a short video (up to 2.5 minutes long) of any tricks with love and/or friendships as the theme

Consider it in the broader sense too, particularly if your dog is involved in some therapy or assistance work and shares love and supports other people. 

Think about what makes you and your dog a team. What you both love sharing or doing together and tell the story in tricks.

It could be a story of your journey together, challenges and successes.

So it does not necessary have to be valentines, hearts and roses, though that can absolutely be the case too.

Think creatively and see where your heart takes you. 

We also have an additional optional challenge to those who feel brave enough:

We have mentioned trust alongside love and friendship above. Trusting each other is important but can also be hard. As the additional challenge we would like to ask those who would like to attempt it to do some tricks with you being blindfolded. Any number of tricks and any tricks, and any blindfold. The challenge should be included as part of your main task submission. The key element is that you should not be able to see your dog at all. Instead of wearing the blindfold you can do tricks with your dog being out of sight. If you don't feel ready for this extra challenge, just focus on the main task. 

We are giving you 3 weeks for this task- please use this time with your dog.

Please , remember it's not all about recording the video for the competition, but more about using the opportunity and the nudge from us to challenge yourself to try something new and to be creative!


There will be 3 additional prizes this time:

1. Creative tricks award

2. Creative storytelling award

3. Blindfolded challenge (1 winner and 2 runner ups)  

Each winner will receive 10 competition points and certificate, runners up 5 points and a certificate.


We also are very grateful and excited to announce that Chrissy Joy and the KONG Company will supporting the International Trick Dog Competition this year again. There will be some special prizes from the KONG Company for the top 3 overall finalists of the competition and Chrissy will be involved in Task 7. 

The Kong Company are famous for their fun robust toys that dogs love playing with.

The Kong's toys and tools are also super useful for a huge variety of dog training scenarios and challenges. The Kong company also runs regular educational talks on their website which you can attend from your home. See:

Chrissy Joy is an exceptionally talented dog trainer, actress, TV personality and the person who tries to brighten and change the world around her. She is also a great speaker and performer who regularly appears on TV and in the press to inspire others to achieve more with their dogs and to promote positive training and dog's welfare. 

You can see more about Chrissy Joy and her talented Joy's Crew on



HOW TO ENTER the International Trick Dog Competition:

To enter the International Trick Dog Competition electronically submit the link to your video (or videos) by the end of the day (your time) on Sunday the 18th of February together with the entry fee by completing the Submission Form.

You'll be able to pay via PayPal, Apple Pay or securely by a credit card.

Each class entry is £4 or $5 or an equivalent in your currency. 

You can enter more than one class per week. For class descriptions see below.

You can join the competition at any point.

Winners for each Task will be announced the following week.


Top 5 dogs in EACH of the classes will receive a printable named certificate by e-mail after every task..

All entries will also receive brief individual feedback from the judges.


There is a special additional prize from the judges for Creativity for this task. The winner of this prize will receive a certificate and additional 10 competition point. 

The International Trick Dog Champion and overall winners in each class will receive a named certificate.

The Champion and the Overall Winner in each class will receive a rosette at no extra cost posted to any country in the world.

Top 5 finalists in each of the classes will also be able to receive rosettes for a small financial contribution just to cover the rosette costs and postage.

All other class finalists will receive printable named certificates.

This is very prestigious and highly regarded International competiton.

It's not just about competing, awards, international recognition and progressing with your dog's training- though of course you'll have plenty of that.

You'll also meet lots of like-minded people around the world, some amazing inspirational teams and will make lots of life-long friends!


Class 1. Novice Trick Dog (dogs new to trick dog training or have trick dog titles at or below Novice level before the start of the competition. The titles can be from any Trick Dog titling provider. This class is primarily aimed at newcomers, young dog with little experience and puppies. The titles obtained during the competition will not affect your class eligibility.

Class 2. Intermediate Trick Dog (dogs with titles above Novice Trick Dog level or with more trick experience than those with the Novice titles). This also includes titles and competition experience in related dog sports. The titles obtained during the competition will not affect your class eligibility.

Class 3. Advanced Trick Dog (dogs with titles above the Intermediate Trick Dog level before the start of the competition, but below the Champion Trick Dog Title.  The titles can be from any Trick Dog titling provider. This also includes titles and competition experience in related dog sports or dogs with many years of trick experience without a formal title. The titles obtained during the competition will not affect your class eligibility.

Class 4. Champions league (dogs with Champion Trick Dog title or equivalent before the start of the competition. The title can be from any Trick dog titling provider or from other related dog sports. This also includes all of the dogs who perform professionally to the public or involved in high level studio work. The titles obtained during the competition will not affect your class eligibility.

Class 5. Limits-free For dogs who have some physical limitations, or a difficult start in life, but who do not want to limit themselves to what they can achieve. Dogs that beat all the odds and despite their limitations to achieve great things and enjoy their life to full  The physical limitations may include disabilities, physical restrictions or chronic health conditions. This class also includes rescue dogs.

Class 6. Veteran Trick Dogs  For Trick dogs who are aged 7 years or over. 

Class 7. Amateur dog trainers  For those who train their own dogs, rather than work professionally as a dog trainer. This class is about you as a trainer and your work together with your dog(s) as a team. Please see below additional note on judging criteria.

Class 8. Trick dogs team (2 or more dogs performing the tricks together)

You can enter your dog upto 3 suitable classes for each of the 7 tasks.

For example, for the same task, if eligible you could enter your video into class 2, class 5 and class 7 for more chances to win and more potential points. We recommend that you stick with the same classes where possible.

How does it work?

Each week you’ll choose from a large selection of tricks to perform with your dog.

Video your dog performing the tricks and submit online.

Enter your dog into one or more classes each week.

You’ll be awarded points for each of your top 5 places in each of the class you enter:

        1st place in class- 10 points

        2nd place -  7 points

        3rd place -  5 points

        4th place- 3 points

       5th place-  2 points

If your dog is placed in more than one class all of the points will be counted. The Dog Team class points will be split between the dogs.

For example, if your dog was awarded 1st and 2nd places in two different classes, you’ll get 10 points for the 1st place and 7 further points for the 2nd place, making 17 points in total for that week. You'll not receive points for entries that were not placed, but you can increase your chances of placing by entering into more than one relevant class and by continuously improving with your dog as the competition progresses.


The dog with the most points at the end of the 7th task will become the International Trick Dog Champion.

Additionally, dogs who receive most of the points in each of the classes will be awarded 1st, 2nd or 3rd places in the class.


The judges will be using the following criteria for scoring your submissions:

- Performance of the trick

             This has 2 elements to it:

                                   - Quality and clarity of trick execution

                                   - Independence of trick execution (do you need to lure the dog or does it perform the tricks independently)

- Flow of the sequence and transitions between the tricks

- Responsiveness to commands

             This has 3 elements to it:

                                     - Do you need to give more than one cue or dog performs the trick after one cue?

                                     - How long is the delay between the command and the dog's response?

                                     -How subtle your commands are

- Teamwork and motivation (how well the dog and the handler understand each other and enjoy working together)

- Additional complexity (this can be distractions, distance work, trick complexity, location, the additional complexity in transitions, chain of behaviours to a single cue, out of sight tricks, tricks with dog facing away etc.)

- Use of props (this includes dog's engagement, commitment and enthusiasm to working with the props and the variety of props)

- Creativity

- Safety (how aware is the handler of own, the dog's and other's safety)

The weighting of scores in the Amateur Dog Trainer class will be different from the other classes. Much more weighting is given to teamwork, motivation, your communication with the dog(s) as well as choosing the appropriate level of difficulty and the type of the task to suit your dog and your responsiveness to your dog's body language. This class is about you as a trainer and your work together in a team.

The dog teams will be additionally scored for synchronicity (where appropriate), working together and individually and their focus on the handler.


If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask anytime

Best of luck and enjoy!


1) My dog is relatively new to tricks, but we would like to progress and learn. Is it worth entering?

 Yes absolutely! You will be competing with similar dogs in your class- so everyone will have an equal chance to win. The completion is designed as a progressive training with lots of individual feedback, encouragement and opportunities to learn.

2)  I live in...... can I still enter?

This is truly International Competition. Team from any country of the world is welcome to join. We are always proud to have wide international representation with competitors from USA, Canada, across many countries in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China etc. You don't need to speak English either to enter if someone could help you to translate the task, or there is always Google Translate, which works pretty well most of the time.


3) How can I get more points from the judges for my ITDC entry?

More experienced handlers can further increase the complexity and gain extra points by increasing the trick duration, perform to voice or hand commands only, adding the distance, working facing away from you, adding distractions and combining several tricks together, performing all tricks as a sequence, behaviour chain and by including more advanced tricks etc.

You can also see the detailed judging criteria which will be posted on the competition page when it launches. 

For full rules see Competition Rules and Submission guidance. 

Throughout the competition, we are working with you on creating a professional-looking trick dog performances that are engaging, fun to watch and can be used for public display. As you progress through the tasks also consider working towards DTA Trick Dog Titles (to develop the technical side of tricks and your dog's talent) and Talent Show Dog Titles (to further your team's skills to perform the tricks for an audience- virtual or real life) and Challenge Titles as a further fun stretch.

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