If you’re in quarantine and thinking about a new hobby to pick up once you’re allowed to resume life in the outside world, then you might want to consider a fun activity that you can do with your dog. Musical canine freestyle is a trend that has been growing bigger in dog shows, and it looks like fun. It’s as the name suggests, freestyle dancing that’s been put to music with a choreographed performance by the handlers and their dogs. It’s a great opportunity to show off the pair’s teamwork, artistry, costuming, athleticism, and style.
Patricia Ventre, founder of the World Canine Freestyle Organization, explained, “Musical Freestyle is a choreographed musical program performed by handlers and their dogs. The object of musical freestyle is to display the dog and handler in a creative, innovative, and original dance, using music and intricate movements to showcase teamwork, artistry, costuming, athleticism, and style in interpreting the theme of the music.”
While it may look easy and simple, there is actually a lot of trust, discipline, and dedication that goes into dancing with your dog. While it might be freestyle, the routines still incorporate obedience training and dog tricks, along with dance moves – and the techniques are looked at. Additionally, the moves need to be precise and well-timed. In order for all that to work, the handler and dog need to share a mutually respectful and trusting relationship. That way, the dog is able to follow the handler’s signals and cues without a hitch. In short, the key to canine freestyling success is teamwork.
The most entertaining canine freestyle routines are those that showcase the dog’s intelligence as they pick up the subtle hints given to them by their handlers in order to follow the musical routine. There are actually two different types of musical canine freestyle. The first is heelwork and it shows off the dog’s ability to do different heelwork while the handler is the one moving to music. While the second is the dog performing tricks and obedience skills while set to music.
The style of canine freestyle began back in 1989 after forward-thinking handlers wanted to get creative in how to express obedience and dog training. And the first official organization began in 1991 in Canada, before moving to the US and England.
Interestingly enough, there are different focuses between canine freestyle in the US, where everything is focused on trick-based routines with costumes, while England puts more of an emphasis on heelwork.
And, there are actual guidelines to the sport as put out by the WCFO:
– Select the music you want to dance to.
– Create your routine and design steps and movements for both you and your dog that matches the music you’ve selected.
– Decide on costumes for you and your dog.
– Always review the rules and guidelines of the competition and make sure to follow them.
If you are wanting to take it up, then the best thing you can do is train your dog. You can break down the routine into sections and let your dog start getting into the different parts of the routine. When it comes to getting them to learn freestyle heeling, then you need to make sure that you are keeping close physical proximity at all times.
While all dogs are naturally clever animals, there are some breeds that are just that more inclined to pick things up at a quicker pace, therefore would be better suited to taking up freestyle. Those include Poodles, Dachshunds, Golden Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Great Danes, and English Mastiffs.
So, do you think you’d be taking this up with your dog after quarantine? Let us know!
Watch the video below to see how it is done: