While the name CJ Jackson might not seem familiar, chances are regular TV and internet video watchers have seen her dog, Jasmine, performing some of her unique tricks. Jasmine has performed on Good Morning America and Animal Planet, and has millions of viewers on YouTube and across other social media platforms.
Jasmine is a 10-year-old Havanese who can perform about 100 unique tricks. Before getting Jasmine as a puppy, Jackson had no idea to even begin to train a puppy. She read books, took a class and watched YouTube videos and soon she was teaching Jasmine all the basics – how to sit, stay and go outside to take care of her business. The puppy caught on so quickly, however, that soon Jackson started trying out some tricks.
During a conversation with her grandma who lives in Utah, Jackson mentioned that she was trying to teach Jasmine some fun tricks. Her grandma said that if Jasmine learned how to jump through a hoop she’d come visit them on Phoenix. In order for her grandma to get an idea of Jasmine’s progress, Jackson started posting videos of Jasmine’s tricks on YouTube. The videos started getting more views than expected, and the pair started to become more popular.
Jackson’s personal favorite trick that Jasmine performs is pushing a shopping cart. Not only is it adorable, but it took a long time to perfect teaching Jasmine to stand on her hind legs and push around the little toy shopping cart. In fact, a large part of Jasmine’s tricks feature children’s toys due to the fact that Jackson has several nieces and nephews that have served as a source of inspiration. Jackson figures that, if Jasmine has the intellect of a toddler, then there’s no reason she can’t handle anything her young nieces and nephews can grasp.
The training process involves a lot of positive reinforcement, no matter how many months it takes to master a new trick. Jackson said that the real secret is keeping the dog motivated and positive with rewards. While some pups might be pleased with a toy, Jasmine loves getting a treat when she’s done a good job.
Jasmine has elevated Jackson’s life in more ways than one. In addition to providing a new friend and companion, Jasmine has taught Jackson that she isn’t as talentless as she previously thought. Jackson didn’t think she was very talented since singing, dancing or art didn’t come naturally to her, but Jasmine has shown her that there are talents that aren’t always as obvious – like being a master dog trainer.
Aside from being a YouTube star, Jasmine is also a therapy dog who visits, schools, therapy centers, retirements homes and hospitals to bring joy to people all around her. While visiting, Jasmine will occasionally perform one of her signature tricks, which is always a special event for anyone present. Jackson said seeing someone smile and laugh is more important than any amount of YouTube views and that having that sort of effect in someone’s life makes her feel lucky to be a part of all this.
Jasmine’s talent and Jackson’s training has brought smiles, laughter and joy to people all over the world. Jackson said in a world of such negativity, it’s nice to be able to inject a little positive now and again.