Dutchies and Doggy Dance (canine Heelwork to music freestyle) Discussions

Discussion in 'Dutch Shepherd Dog' started by Evan and Waffles, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. Evan and Waffles

    Evan and Waffles New Member

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    Dutchies and Doggy Dance (canine Heelwork to music freestyle)

    Everywhere I look, the advice about Dutchies is that they are happier when they have work to do and an outlet for extra energy. I'm planning to take my Lab x Dutchie through obedience courses Level I-III and Canine Good Citizenship but beyond that, I think he's going to want to do more.

    My first thought was agility but I have concerns about that: 1. Not many trainers/gyms in my area and 2. My partner is concerned about joint health of the puppy. 3. I know that puppies should not start agility until they are 1-2 years old and I imagine we'll be done with obedience before that point and will need something in the interim to focus on.

    Rally looks useful and I'm sure it will engage him mentally but I'm not sure it will be physically active enough for him.

    A few days ago, I discovered so-called Doggy Dance and that looks like the perfect middle ground but I will say, most of the dogs I see doing it are border collies so my question is this:

    How well-suited to Doggy Dance, aka Canine Heelwork to Music Freestyle, do you think a Lab x Dutchie is?
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  3. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Hi Evan, I really admire your enthusiasm. Heelwork to Music is a great discipline to combine with general obedience. It is basically positions, moves, and trick training, and dogs seem to love learning in these small bites for frequent rewards. Stringing the moves into a sequence and setting the programme to music is quite technical - and you need to be more extrovert than I was to costume up and actually perform in public! We only managed a couple of elementary certificates but it was great fun for both of us. Trick training can also be done as a stand alone qualification.
  4. Evan and Waffles

    Evan and Waffles New Member

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    CaroleC,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Where are you located? I need to find a trainer in South Florida (Miami area) USA. I don't think I could learn it very effectively from just YouTube
  5. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Sorry, I'm in England. Ed is 13 in a fortnight and retired five years ago - he has bowel tumours. Surprisingly, for a rescued puppy farm Beagle, he was quite a talented worker. He got his Good Citizen Gold, won out of Beginners in competitive obedience, and qualified CD Ex in UK Working Trials. He was working UD when his bowel disease started and it didn't seem fair to have him scaling 5 foot, and long jumping 6 foot.
    In retirement he got his Hound Scenting certificate with maximum points, we did a little Freestyle HTM, and dabbled at Agility - he coped, I didn't!
    I have a couple decent books on starting HTM - but don't know whether they are still available. There should be some more recent ones though.
    Richard Curtis, Dancing with Dogs, a step by step guide to Freestyle, published by Ringpress but I can't find a year.
    Mary Ray & Andrea McHugh, Dancing with Dogs, easy to learn techniques and fun routines for you and your Dog. Thunder Bay Press, 2006.
    In the UK we have the Paws n Music Association - you may have something similar in the US - which produces guidance leaflets for teaching different aspects of the sport. You move up the grades by submitting your work by video. Less stress than competing. The AKC site may be able to help you track down clubs or trainers.
  6. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    The Paws n Music Association site is helpful regarding the classification and moves etc. However, The World Canine Freestyle Organisation seems to be the one most relevant to the USA.
  7. Chris

    Chris Member

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    When at college, one of the best routines I saw was a Border Terrier :).

    Provided your dog loves to train, you should have lots of fun

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