One of the biggest trends taking the world by storm today is dog dancing also known as Canine Freestyle Dancing or the art of dancing with your dog. It is quickly becoming popular among dog owners as a form of exercise and fun but is also a highly competitive sport.
If you like to dance, take your dog with you. Instead of just taking him for a walk, you can have much more fun doing canine freestyle dancing in a controlled environment. Qualified dog training instructors will show you how to train your dog and you will incorporate the commands into your own chosen dance routine.
Freestyle is a dance that is performed to music (Heelwork to Music). A dance routine is created and the dog is taught moves that blend with those of the dogs handler. The steps for musical freestyle dancing with your dog can be easily integrated with basic dog obedience commands.
Dressage is a form of command given by slight movements of the hand and barely noticeable to the onlooker. While learning the musical dance routines, your dog can also learn basic obedience commands, as well as advanced obedience commands, while incorporating the use of dressage.
Dog owners meet once or twice weekly, usually at a canine training facility, and spend an hour or more making up moves and interacting with their dog as a form of aerobic exercise for both dog and handler. Freestyle means anything goes as far as the movements chosen to perform.
Moving across the floor, twirling around, going backwards, leg lifts, and jumps are just some of the steps used for the dance routines. For the professional the dance is carefully choreographed. The handler, and sometimes the dog, are dressed in a dance costume and perform in competition.
Brenda Steokes, owner of Canine Country Day School in Manchester, CT, dances weekly with her Australian Shepherd Luna at Tails U Win Canine Training Center, also in Manchester, CT. Aussies are not able to easily walk forward when standing on their hind legs so Brenda is working with Luna in her dance routine to strengthen the muscles needed for this move. Luna is also capable of doing a high-five with both front paws while continuously walking across the floor next to Brenda.
The art of Dog dance was sanctioned by The World Canine Freestyle Organization, founded by Pattie Ventre. Though it has been around since the 1980s, it has only recently become very popular in the form of fun and exercise rather than just a competition. Other organizations in the Unites States include the Canine Freestyle Federation and The Musical Dog Sport Association.
Anyone can join in the fun. It sure beats jumping around the living room floor to a DVD or television exercise program. Check with your local dog training facilities for information on programs in your area.
Article written by JD Hutchinson
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