Border Collie Wins 2020 AKC Trick Dog Competition with “Harry Potter” Routine
With a fair amount of enthusiasm, love, and puns, a Border Collie by the name of Amos secured victory in the American Kennel Club’s 2020 Virtual Trick Dog Competition with a Harry Potter routine.
Affectionately dubbed Hairy Pawter, Amos and his handler, Debbi Snyder, submitted a video to the AKC retelling the events of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It was renamed, instead, to the puntastic “Hairy Pawter and the Sorcerer’s Bone.”
Watching the five-minute video below, you can see Amos’s unbridled joy as he performs the various “dogified” versions of fairly common wizarding tasks. It makes you wonder if Amos is really a dog or actually an unregistered Animagus.
As AKC Family Dog Director and judge for the Trick Dog Competition Dr. Mary Burch noticed, Amos clearly took delight and pride in his performance, which is part of what made the routine so magical. Though it was adorable to see Amos go shopping at “Dog-gone Alley” and play the piano to put Fluffy to sleep, the most magical trick is likely the clever and impressive way Snyder portrayed the staircases at “Dogwarts.” Amos hopped backward on a staircase! That takes skill even for wizards. It’s difficult to pick just one favorite trick when the whole performance is likely to reduce even the most miserly goblins into a mess of feelings and “aww”s.
Snyder has been a dog handler for many years, competing in various AKC competitions. The idea for Hairy Pawter came about one Halloween when she purchased a Harry Potter costume for Amos. After a photo shoot and an artist retouching, she got the idea to create a trick dog routine based on the first film.
According to Snyder, many of the tricks featured in the video were ones that Amos had already learned. She simply fine-tuned them to have them fit the retelling of Sorcerer’s Stone:
Hours of work went into refining the storyline. I had suggestions from students and instructors who teach classes with me. Then I picked tricks that fit the story. Most of the tricks Amos already knew. We made little adjustments on some of the tricks to fit the story better, [and it took] several weeks to be ready to film.
This is the AKC’s second Trick Dog Competition following last year’s fantastic reception. Due to the pandemic, the AKC opted to make this year’s competition virtual by having handlers submit videos up to six minutes in length. The videos also required a theme or story. Only dogs that have earned the “Elite Performer” title may compete.
Have you taught your pet a great Harry Potter-themed trick? Do you think they have the chops to compete? Or just want to show off your pet in costume? Comments are welcome below.
Need more activities to do with your pup? We recently featured a list of various Harry Potter-themed DIY projects geared toward dogs.