Firsts – Live One
Embodying new lifestyles and experiences.

Dog Dancing

Dog dancing?  Dancing…with your dog?  You’re kidding right?

Actually, I’m not.  Known as musical canine freestyle, dog dancing is a mixture of standard obedience training and tricks that grants handlers a more intimate bond with their dog(s).  There are two categories in the sport, musical freestyle and freestyle heeling.  While freestyle heeling highlights the dog’s ability to stay in variations of the heel position with the handler dancing, musical freestyle allows more leeway as far as tricks are concerned.  The latter category is judged much more on creativity than execution. (Let’s face it…neither one of you are going to look cool out there.)

Although competition rules vary widely, there are two standards.  They include:

  • No use of training aids or leashes.
  • Participants must compete either as a single dog and handler, a pair of dogs and handlers, or as a full team of three or more dogs and their handlers.

Since you’re more likely to win with a creative dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller than a perfectly choreographed routine to the Macarena, the competitor’s choice of music is extremely important.  Routines much match the song or judges may not even give you a score.

Did you know?- Albeit, many who participate in dog dancing choose to express themselves in competitions, it’s not the only way to get yourself seen.  Exhibition freestyle is a non-competitive form of the sport that allows for the use of props, cues, and costumes.   These duos are often seen on television and occasionally in movies.

If you’re brave enough to have yourself seen dancing with your canine in public, you have nothing holding you back from realizing your dog dancing rise to stardom.  While there are not many instructional resources yet available to the public, the websites canine-freestyle.org and worldcaninefreestyle.org can offer you some beginner’s advise and point you in the right direction.

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