Coach a Spark Team

What is a Spark team?

A Spark Team is a FREE, online class coached by a certified instructor. The classes are run in a Facebook group. Each class runs for one month; from the 1st of the month to the 30th. Each class has the goal of teaching enough new dog tricks for students to earn their title (either their Trick Dog title or their Canine Conditioning Fitness title). A Spark team is beneficial for all dogs, and especially for dogs which do not thrive in class environments such as shy dogs and reactive dogs. The Spark format is a great option for coaches/instructors who aren’t in a populated area, or are in an area that is not interested in positive training.

Who can coach a Spark Team?

Each team is coached by either a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) or a Canine Conditioning Fitness Coach (CCFC). The coach sets the curriculum and films and posts instructional videos every week for their students. The CTDI/CCFC earns credits as the students earn their titles.

How do I get students to join my team?

We will list your team on our website and publicize it on Facebook. You will reach out to your friendship base and publicize it to your community.

Ready to start a Spark Team? Follow these steps:

1. Create a Facebook Account

Sign up on

2. Create a Facebook Group

In Facebook Newsfeed look in the left sidebar and choose”Groups.” Next, look in the upper left corner for the button called “Create Group”.

3. Group Settings

Once you’ve created the group, click the button called “…More” and then choose  “edit group settings”.


Many of the options here will be your personal preference, but below are a few options we suggest you choose: 

  • Description: SESSION STARTS JANUARY 1– Ignite your passion for dog tricks! Join us for 4 weeks as we coach you through learning 15 new dog tricks. You can do it! Your totally excited coach is XXXX (CTDI). ***All the important info is in the post pinned to the top of the page***
  • Location: Best to leave blank, as you want students from all over
  • Tags: Dog Tricks, Dog Training, Clicker Training, etc.
  • Linked Pages: Do More With Your Dog!, and possibly your other Spark groups
  • Web Address: Something like BobsNTDSparkTeam
  • Privacy: Public
  • Posting Permissions: Anyone in the group
  • Post Approval: unchecked

4. Add an Admin

Add Kyra Sundance as a member to your group. Make her a group Admin. Access this setting by going to “Members” in the left sidebar.

5. Add a Cover image

Add a cover image to your group. You may use this one or customize your own with your team name and photo.

The Spark Team logo is available in our Public Dropbox, here:

6. Customize your title application form

Dog Tricks Spark Teams may wish to use this 1-page title application form. It is a PDF form, so you can download it and enter in your name and your Spark group name, and possibly all the tricks you will teach (or the student can handwrite in the tricks). This way the student will remember your name when it is time for them to submit their app online.

Download the customizable Spark title app

7. Add the Pinned post

Facebook groups allow you to “pin” one post. This post always remains at the top of the page. This post will have all the important info for your students. You can edit this post every week to add new links to videos.

Note: on mobile devices there is a button at the top of the page that says “view pinned posts.” People never realize to click that button, so we have to try really hard at the beginning to make sure everyone knows to read that pinned post. This has been our single biggest challenge.

We find it is best to not post links to all of your instructional videos in the first week. Keep your students focused by just showing them a few tricks/exercises each week.



PINNED POST:  Let's Get Started!
This Spark Team runs Jan 1 – Jan 31, 2019. Our goal is to teach 15 tricks to earn our dogs' official Novice Trick Dog title. 



Click to access NTDapp.pdf

2. WATCH INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS Every week your coach will post trick videos (links are below). We'll teach you more tricks than you need to reach your goal, so it's OK to skip a few. 3. SHOW OFF YOUR TRICKS Upload your videos to this group. 4. TEACH 15 TRICKS – EARN YOUR "NOVICE TRICK DOG" TITLE • Once you've demonstrated 15 tricks for any witness, submit your checklist here: • Your names will be added to the official registry: • You will receive a certificate and ribbon in the mail. • Your dog's name will be officially designated with the NTD suffix. • Bask in your awesomeness... you and your dog rock! ---------------------------------------------- INSTRUCTIONAL TRICK VIDEOS: ---------------------------------------------- [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ Week #3 Tricks ]]]]]]]]]]] Coming Thurs. Nov.13 [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ Week #2 Tricks ]]]]]]]]]]] #10 — LAUNDRY BASKET (with coach Kelli-ann) #9 — PEEKABOO (with coach Kelli-ann) #8 — ROLL OUT THE CARPET (with coach Kelli-ann) #7 — PAWS UP (with coach Kyra) #6 — HIDE AND SEEK (builds on Stay) (with coach Kelli-ann) [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ Week #1 Tricks ]]]]]]]]]]] #5 — STAY (with coach Kelli-ann) #4 — MUFFIN TIN (with coach Kyra) #3 — SIT (with coach Kyra) #2 — TOUCH MY HAND (with coach Kyra) #1 — SPIN CIRCLES (with coach Kyra) ---------------------------------------------- HOW WELL DOES MY DOG HAVE TO PERFORM THE TRICK? ---------------------------------------------- Leashes: Novice tricks may be done on-leash to prevent the dog from running off. The leash shall not be used to pull the dog into the desired behavior. Treats: Treats (and/or toys) may be used as a reward after the trick is finished. Treats may be used as a lure, but only in the following amounts: no more than 50% of the tricks for the Novice title can employ a lure. Physical Manipulation: Handler may not physically manipulate the dog to get him to do a trick. Petting the dog at any time is fine. Lightly tapping the dog to regain his attention is fine. Service Dogs / Disabled Dogs / Very Senior Dogs: These dogs and their handlers may need to alter the trick to work within their unique needs. This is fine. Extra Credit Trick: One additional trick of comparable difficulty may be used to count as a Novice or Intermediate trick. ---------------------------------------------- FACEBOOK SETTINGS (so you don't miss a post): ---------------------------------------------- Facebook on your desktop computer: 1. Click the "Notifications" button in the header and choose "all posts" 2. Click the "..." button in the header and choose "Add to favorites" Facebook on your mobile device: 1. Click the header graphic 2. Click the "Edit Notification Settings" and choose "all posts" ---------------------------------------------- "101 DOG TRICKS" BOOK ---------------------------------------------- Try to pick up a copy of "101 Dog Tricks" by Kyra Sundance. It has step-by-step trick instructions as well as really helpful tips and troubleshooting techniques.

8. Let us know about your group!

Email us at the following email so we can list your Spark Team on our website.

9. Make a curriculum for your 4-week class

Don’t post your full curriculum to the pinned post in the beginning; you want to keep the students coming back every few days to learn the next thing.

Below is a sample curriculum. You may use this or change it. We found tricks 1-10 to be very well received, especially Muffin Tin, Roll out the Carpet, and Laundry Basket.


WEEK 1 – Oct 31:
GOAL: Get students to read the pinned post and print NTD checklist.
#3 SIT

WEEK 2 – Nov 6:
GOAL: Assure students that they are not falling behind, and can still make their goal. Talk about the importance of goals. Review criteria for tricks (lures, leashes, etc.) which can be found in the pinned post.
#6 HIDE AND SEEK (builds on Stay)

WEEK 3 – Nov 13:
GOAL: Talk about adding up their points and making a plan to reach their goal. Think about how many tricks they need to do each day/week. Start to get witness signoffs.
#13 SHELL GAME (builds on muffin tin)

WEEK 4 – Nov 20:
GOAL: Encourage them to submit their titles. Publicly congratulate students as they earn their titles.
#18 SAY YOUR PRAYERS/BOW HEAD (builds on paws up)

10. Invite People to Join

Let your Facebook community know that your free class will begin on the 1st of the month. A short video is a great way to get people excited to join.

Sample video:

Also feel free to use our Youtube Videos or add a video explaining the trick in more detail after our Youtube Video.

Suggested content of the video:

— Hi, I’m XXXXXX, and I’m a Certified Trick Dog Instructor.
— I’m starting an interest group for beginner-level dogs and their owners.
— We’re going to teach our dogs 15 fun, new tricks… things like Paws Up, Spin Circles, Crawl, and Shake Hands.
— We’ll also try new games with our dogs like The Muffin Tin Game, Treat Under the Laundry Basket Game.
— I’m going to walk you through teach each new trick, and then you can post a video of your happy dog when he learns it.
— If you keep up with us for all 4 weeks, your dog will earn his Novice Trick Dog title and certificate! — This group will SPARK your interest in dog training.
— Click the link in the comments below to join the group, and make this the month to “do more with your dog!”

IMPORTANT: type the link to the Facebook group in the comments.

11. Accept new Member to the Group

As each person requests to join the group, you’ll need to approve their request in the right sidebar on the Facebook group page. It’s nice to welcome them at that point, and remind them to read the pinned post.


Tips for  Intermediate or higher level teams: Check their pre-req’s

We have noticed that it really helps the titling process to be strict about the pre-reqs in the Spark groups. Check thetitle holders list… If they aren’t on there, send them a message asking for a picture of their title and giving them a link to your Novice Spark group. Here is a sample message you can send:

Hi XXXX, I see that you requested to join the Intermediate Trick Dog Class. There is a pre-req of the the Novice Trick Dog Title. I looked through the list and did not see you; this may be because your name is displayed differently. If you could send me a picture of your trick dog title I can admit you to the class. If you do not have the novice title yet, you may join my novice class at… 

12. Make Your Instructional Videos

Add an instructional video every few days teaching a new trick/exercise.

Post the links to your videos in the pinned post.

13. Keep your Group Motivated!

Watch your students’ videos and coach them through problems. Let them know when their trick is good enough to mark off on their title application.

Keep students on track toward their titles.

14. Help Students Submit their Titles

By the end of the month, some of your students will have completed enough tricks/exercises to earn their titles. Direct them to the proper link below to submit their application for their title. Remind them to put either your name, or the name of your Spark Team on the application. 

When we receive their application we auto-generate an email that goes to you, requesting verification that you passed them.

For every student title that is earned, you receive Instructor credits which can be redeemed for free stuff. You will receive a statement each month, showing your account balance and listing the students you passed.

Trick Titles:

Fitness Titles: