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We were shocked to hear that another competitor—a dog named Gryffindor—didn’t submit a Harry Potter-themed video.

By Austin Cannon
December 03, 2020
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The American Kennel Club has a new National Trick Dog Champion: Amos the border collie, from Lakeland, Fla., won the second annual competition, the AKC announced this week. 

His four-minute routine beat out Evie, a borzoi from Tulsa, Okla., and golden retriever Gryffindor from Robinson, Texas. 

This year’s second-annual AKC Trick Dog Competition was virtual, so the more than 100 dogs who participated submitted videos of their themed performances, filled with dashes, jumps, and retrievals. It was only open to “elite” trick dogs, the highest level of the five levels of trick dogs. Three AKC-registered judges evaluated each of the videos and picked the winner, the club said in a news release. 

portrait of Amos, the trick dog champion
Credit: Courtesy of Debbie Snyder

"There were so many talented dogs in this year's competition. In the end, we looked at not only tricks but the whole presentation including the team effort and whether or not there was a great team bond,” judge Geralynn Cada-Ragan said in a statement. 

Teaching your dog fun tricks is a great way to bond with your dog and create behaviors you can build into lifelong skills. Many trainers offer trick dog classes, but you can teach the tricks all on your own with patience and positive reinforcement. Not only is it a great way to offer enrichment to your dog, but you also get the satisfaction of showing off your brilliant dog to your friends.

Here are the three semifinalists submissions: 

Amos

Amos the border collie stars in “Hairy Pawter and the Sorcerer’s Bone.” He begins his routine by hopping out of his basket—presumably left on the Privet Drive doorstep—and later opens the door to his cupboard under the stairs and removes his handler’s socks. But soon, he picks up his letter from Dogwarts. 

Then, it’s off to Doggone Alley to shop for his Dogwarts essentials. Once he arrives at Dogwarts, he flies on his broomstick and even navigates the moving staircases by climbing one backwards. He snags the golden snitch to beat Slobberin’ House. 

He finishes his routine by searching for the sorcerer’s bone, even vanquishing Lord Voldogmort with many running circles. 

Best trick: Filling—and then pushing!—his shopping cart at Doggone Alley

Evie

A borzoi named Evie, a runner-up, also submitted a Harry Potter-themed video as well, which begins as she retrieves her Hogwarts letter from a mailbox. Invited to Dog Day at Hogwarts, she presses a button to summon a car carrying money and then opens a box to retrieve her wand. At the train station, she backpedals down a hallway before jumping through Platform 9¾ and getting onto the Hogwarts Express (a wagon her mom towed).

Evidently a very brave pup, Evie is sorted into Gryffindor house. She goes to class and even manages to catch the golden snitch during her first-even quidditch match!  

Best trick: Jumping through Platform 9 ¾  

Gryffindor

Surprisingly, runner-up Gryffindor somehow didn’t do a Harry Potter video. Instead, the golden retriever stars as Indiana Jones’ sidekick Short Round in “Raiders of the Lost Bark.” (Shorty was actually the sidekick in Temple of Doom, but we’ll let it slide.)

Gryffindor, the 2019 champion, begins his routine by hiding himself in a suitcase and then does a series of acrobatic jumps and turns with his handler, “Indiana Bones.” Gryffindor continues jumping over, on, and off his handler, and later helps her find “clues.” The dog even helps nab the “golden retriever idol,” replacing it with a similarly weighted object. But wouldn’t you know it, the temple still collapses and Gryffindor still has to dodge a giant rolling boulder

Best trick: Jumping and landing onto handler’s back for a piggy-back ride