Dog Dancing, also known as musical freestyle, freestyle dance, and canine freestyle, is a modern dog sport that is a mixture of obedience training, tricks, and dance that allows for creative interaction between dogs and their owners. The sport has developed into competition forms in several countries around the world.
Teaching a dog to be able to work on both sides of the handler’s body, not just the left side as in standard obedience heeling, is the first step to doing freestyle. The trainer first breaks the routine into pieces with only two or three moves linked together, and as they progress these pieces are linked together.
There are two types of musical canine freestyle, freestyle heeling (also known as heelwork to music) and musical freestyle.
- Freestyle heeling
- Musical freestyle
Freestyle heeling (aka Heelwork to Music) focuses on a dog’s ability to stay in variations of the heel position while the handler moves to music. In heel work to music, the dog and trainer remain close to each other at all times. Sending the dog away or doing distance work is not part of the routine, with the dog remaining almost invisibly tethered to the trainer. Pivots, and moving diagonally, backwards, and forwards to a suitable musical theme are important to the routine. Jumping, weaving, rolling, passing through the trainer’s legs and anything else considered “not heeling” is not allowed.
Musical freestyle demands that the dog perform a variety of tricks and other obedience talents. In musical freestyle, heel work can be combined with other moves such as leg weaving, sending the dog away, moving together at a distance, and more dramatic tricks such as jumping, spinning, bowing, rolling over. Dancing in place, and other innovative actions where the dog plays off the dance moves of the trainer are encouraged. A popular finishing trick for some routines is for the dog to jump into the trainer’s arms, or over his or her back.
- Min: 2 dogs, Max 8 dogs (Dogs 4 months and above)
- All dogs must be free from contagious illnesses and fleas & ticks
- Dogs must be friendly to other dogs and people. We welcome dogs who are timid or reserved and even dogs that are handicaps
- 6 Sessions
- 1 Hour Per Session
INTRODUCTION TO DOG DANCING
- What is K9 dancing?
- How to get started
- How to choose the right music
- Explaining the different heelwork positions and how to train them
- Explaining turns to change heelwork positions and direction
- How obedience can be an element of the choreography
- How tricks can be an element of the choreography
- How to set up a choreagraphy