We had a wonderful opportunity to meet and interview Chris Perondi the author of the book “The Big Book of Tricks For The Best Dog Ever: A Step-by-Step Guide to 118 Amazing Tricks and Stunts.” It's co-authored by Larry Kay (Workman Publishing). We also met the star dog, Vinny Valentino, at the amNY offices in Manhattan last week.
Vinny is an Australian border collie, which is Chris’ favorite breed. (But he doesn’t let the other dogs hear him say that). We all read the book, tried to teach our dogs tricks and some of us were successful.
Chris started teaching dog tricks in 1996 and he told us that the longest time he has spent teaching a single trick was three months. Chris also told us that what inspired him to start teaching dog tricks was when he was little he saw a dog catching a Frisbee on TV, and from there on he always wanted his own dog to learn and catch a Frisbee, too. Chris told us that he had two dogs growing up and his first dog was named Pepper. A fun fact about Chris is that he now has 12 other dogs and they are all rescues! All 13 of Chris’ dogs are in this book. We also asked him where all of these dogs sleep. We were very surprised when he told us that they all sleep with him! Either they sleep on the bed or in his room on their own beds.
We asked him if any of the dogs in the book know all of the tricks. He explained to us that all of the dogs do know the tricks, but some are picky. For example, Vinny does not like water, so he doesn’t do any water tricks with him. We also asked him if he has tried any of these tricks with another animal, and he told us that he works with other people that train different animals, but he hasn’t done that himself.
We were curious to know if when he teaches a dog a trick if they do it all the time. He told us that one time he just asked himself "did I teach this dog to roll over?" He couldn’t remember. So, he just asked the dog to roll over, and the dog did it! He couldn’t believe it. He didn’t even remember if he taught the dog, but the dog remembered.
We also wanted to know if his dogs bark when he trains them. They do, but he really doesn’t discourage it. If they are barking a lot and disturbing the audience at a show, he usually takes out a treat. The dog only gets the treat if he stops barking.
We asked Chris if he always wanted to be an author. He told us that he wanted to be an author ever since he had his own dogs. He said that he always taught his dogs different tricks and was inspired to write a book about tricks to help other people be able to teach their dogs too.
We learned so many new things during this interview and had such a wonderful time. Some of our favorite tricks that Chris taught his dog were footies (Vinny would walk on Chris's feet), and when the dog would go on Chris’ shoulders. Another one we enjoyed was when Vinny hugged Chris’s leg. Vinny could dance, bow and jump so high. We really loved watching them both! The most memorable moment was meeting Vinny. He is such a smart, friendly and cuddly dog. You could see their bond and love for one another. Chris and Vinny are going to appear on the “Good Morning America” on June 12! We can’t wait to see what tricks Chris and Vinny will do that day.