About Freestyle Classes
Canine Musical Freestyle (aka “dancing with dogs”) blends obedience, rally and agility exercises with tricks and special freestyle “moves” to create unique dog and handler routines synchronized to music. Handlers with dogs of all breeds, mixes and ages will find freestyle training promotes increased attention and precision and creates a strong working relationship with their dogs in a fun and interesting way.
Many aspects of freestyle training enhance training for other dog sports, such as competition obedience, rally and agility. Freestyle is also a great conditioning program for dogs. While dogs are learning freestyle moves such as spinning, weaving and backing up, they are strengthening muscles that they do not normally use and increasing flexibility. In fact, Dr. Patti Schaefer, who practices canine sports medicine, often recommends similar moves or conditioning exercises for performance dogs.
Beginning Freestyle Class
In the Beginning Freestyle Class we will cover basic “moves” such as heeling on both sides, circling the handler, spinning, backing up, working in front of the handler, weaving and transitioning from one side of the handler to another. We will also work on paw behaviors and simple tricks.
We will discuss how to select and edit music and how to use choreography to minimize hand signals. The class will work on a group routine. Emphasis will be on developing attention and precision and having fun with your dog.
Successful completion of Beginning Home Obedience (or equivalent) or instructor approval. Dogs should be able to walk on a loose leash, sit, down and stay. No aggressive dogs. Bring your regular training equipment to the first class, along with lots of small (pea size) food treats and a tug toy.
Intermediate/Advanced Freestyle Class
This ongoing class is for students who are ready to teach their dogs more complicated freestyle moves and start to develop their own routines. Some of the moves we will be working on in this class are heeling behind the handler, using paw behaviors, jumping, backing, side stepping and creating interesting variations out of basic moves. We will combine moves to create eye-catching routines. As students advance in freestyle, we will be working on distance moves and using props. Emphasis will be on training creatively, creating ideal routines for you and your dog while developing an enthusiastic canine dance partner.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of the Beginner
or Intermediate Freestyle
Classes or instructor approval.
These classes are scheduled based on an interest list. If you would like to be added to our interest list, please contact the office.