As many of you know, I love dancing dogs or musical canine freestyle. Dancing with your dog can be a really cool way to get active and build fitness, balance, strength and focus and it is also so fun to watch. As expert Cassandra Hartman said in our one hour special “It is the joy of music and fun and dogs and skills and training all rolled into one The dogs learn all sorts of cool stuff, and they bond with their handler that much more, than any other dog sport I’ve ever experienced”. See Cassandra perform with her dogs, Twilla and Bob”
This Fit Dog Friday, we wanted to collaborate with our Aussie blogging mate Kevin Newman That Dancing Dog Guy (I am half Australian and he has some very cool tips and videos. His Dancing Dogs Cynder and Sprocket are so talented)
Guest Post http://thatdogdancingguy.com.au Inspiration to get Active with your dog:
One of the things that I most enjoy about canine freestyle is the super fun tricks that I get to teach Cynder and Sprocket, all in the name of good fun and putting together a great routine! I know that not everyone is as crazy about Dances with Dogs as I am, but these tricks are also great to teach as party tricks, for pet therapy visits, pet expos or just having fun and getting fit at home with your dog!
Try and train one trick at a time in short, consistent training sessions. Lots of reward based positive reinforcement. 10-15 minutes of training a day is probably enough.
Kevin’s Five Top Tricks to Teach your dog for Canine Freestyle (or just for fun!)
- Spin: Spin is Kilo’s favourite move. I taught him luring him with treats. It is one of the basic tricks that can form a part of many dog dancing routines. Spin can be taught in both clockwise/spin right and anti-clockwise/sin left directions (just make sure you use different commands). It’s a very versatile move and can be used as a transition and works well as a good warm up. It’s also quite good for wiping off muddy paws outside on a mat!
- Stationary Leg Weave: The stationary leg weave is a fun trick that people really love watching, especially if your dog can get some speed up whilst doing it! A great move to teach for agility dogs so they can work on turns and wrap-arounds.
- Forward Leg Weave: An alternate version of the stationary leg weave where instead of staying put you move forward and your dog moves with you, weaving through your legs as you step forward. It’s great as a way to travel across the ring in a freestyle routine instead of just heeling across!
- Circle Handler: A fun trick where, you guessed it, your dog circles around you! You can teach this clockwise or anti-clockwise and it’s a very versatile trick that can be used for transitions between directions and other moves! Kilo loves this move.
- Paws on your Feet: This one finally clicked for Kilo and I recently. We followed Sara and Hero’s video here.
Many of these tricks, especially ones that involve jumping or standing on back legs, should only be taught once your dog is mature to avoid potential injury.