The Pawsitive Post in Conversation by Companion Animal Psychology

The benefits of tricks training for dogs and cats with Erica Beckwith

May 05, 2023 Zazie Todd & Kristi Benson Episode 6
The Pawsitive Post in Conversation by Companion Animal Psychology
The benefits of tricks training for dogs and cats with Erica Beckwith
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Training Tricks with Your Dog (and Cat)

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.

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.

Website: A Matter of Manners Facebook Instagram   

The schedule of Erica’s online tricks classes is here .  

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.  

About the co-hosts:

Kristi Benson is an honours graduate of the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers and has her PCBC-A from the Pet Professional Accreditation Board. She lives in beautiful northern British Columbia, where she helps 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.

Kristi Benson's website Facebook


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 one cat.

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How Erica got into tricks training and what motivates her
The benefits of tricks training
Erica's favourite trick to teach people in tricks classes
Tips on taking a selfie with your dog
How to develop a plan for a new trick
When tricks turn out to be useful
Training cats
Kristi's courses and a workshop by Zazie
Books