At Dog School Ltd we know that old dogs can learn new tricks, whatever people might say. Yet the process can be long and arduous, with a good many clickers clicked and treats gobbled. Teaching to fetch and beg can be the work of several afternoons.
Which is why the Olates Dogs made everybody’s jaws drop. If you haven’t heard of them before, you will before long; America’s Got Talent’s 2012 competition is currently being screened in the UK.
The father and son team- Richard, 55 and Nicholas, 19- left the judges gobsmacked with their dog training skills. Their original audition, where labradoodles performed backflips and rope jumping, was impressive enough; with each appearance they upped their game, with bigger, more astonishing stunts. True to form, their performance in the final was absolutely spectacular, highlights including a dog riding in a car and two dogs walking over the judges’ desk together. They were unaminously crowned as champions, winning one million dollars in prize money and a headline show in Vegas.
The Olates Dogs have achieved a series of firsts. Although they’re not the first dog act to win worldwide- Ashleigh Butler and her dog Pudsey scooped that honour in Britain’s Got Talent– they’re the first animal act to win the American contest. In addition, they’re the first act to have proceeded straight to the live shows without having to audition in Vegas. The judges believed they were worth the risk- and they were right.
A third generation circus performer, Richard Olates has always wanted to have his own dog variety show; the winning team are only one of four dog acts he trains. Now it looks as though he will finally realise his dream. He won’t divulge his methods, though. “That’s our secret,” he’s joked.
We wish him and his talented friends well.
To see the Olates Dogs in their element, watch this video.