Our Introduction to Canine Freestyle/Heelwork To Music

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!

Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
Barked: Sat Nov 17, '12 5:56am PST 
Yeah. We had a 2 hour long lecture about dog dancing. Tried some tricks, watched a demo, jammed along the music with and without the dog and finally, had to try a short choreographic sequence of tricks.

It was fun. I liked and I hope Alva liked it too. At least she liked getting lots of treats. We'd definitely do more of this if I had any skills of choosing a piece of music and deciding, how to move. Another problem is that I cannot afford taking any classes right now. So I have to dance at home with Alva.

Alva knows many tricks already, I just have to put them together into a routine.

Anyone else interested in these sports?

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Mon Nov 19, '12 11:18am PST 
I love HTM. When it is well done, it makes your heart sing. I know there are some who find heelwork boring, but to me, watching a dog and handler heeling together, in sync, happy, loving, it is the most beautiful thing in the world.

They are a few years old, but my two favorite HTM and freestyle routines are

Tina Humphrey and Chandi:


And Carolyn Scott and Rookie:


ETA You should talk to Risa. Her mom has titled her in freestyle.

Edited by author Mon Nov 19, '12 11:24am PST


Awesome Dog
Barked: Mon Nov 19, '12 4:25pm PST 
We're here! smile

Yes, we actively compete in canine freestyle and I also do demos with Risa. We've been involved for almost 6 years but only competing for the last 4. I actually just got back from a seminar on freestyle. I absolutely LOVE this sport. The creativity, uniqueness and overall fun just can't be beat!

Charlotte-Ro- se

Tail Wags
Barked: Wed Dec 12, '12 2:52pm PST 
I've been competing in HTM/Freestyle for about 2 1/2 years and I just love the sport!!! There are some amazing teams coming on in the UK. The sport is looking very exciting for the future!!

Mr. Personality
Barked: Fri Dec 14, '12 8:07am PST 
Sounds fun! I’m not sure that I could sit through a 2-hour lecture, though. Are these classes or a group that you need to join? It sounds like fun. I’m sure Alva liked the attention. The treats probably made it more fun, too! Do you think this is something you are going to do? If not now, maybe you can in the future. At least you can practice at home. It shouldn’t be too hard to put her tricks into a routine. Eduardo’s sport is being a watchdog!
Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
Barked: Fri Dec 14, '12 2:39pm PST 
I used to watch a lot of canine freestyle/HTM videos but I have been quite busy lately. Getting started with a choreography is just an enormous obstacle for me.

I know that there is a dog school arranging freestyle classes but it gets expensive when you have no car and the bus fares are awful (I have to cross town border) and I cannot afford it now. The classes aren't cheap either.

I didn't get bored with the lecture because we worked with our dogs and tried some fun tricks. Alva knows pretty well to wait calmly when I'm instructed. She thinks she might earn a treat for a long eye contact or something...

I'd like to take classes so I could get tips and comments and talk with other people interested in this sport smile I am a bit tired of training alone. I am almost self-taught so I am used to find ways to train my dog on my own, but people tend to get blind to their own mistakes and flaws and I am no exception.

I have access to a training field at walking distance when the snow melts (and also now if I or Alva do not mind wading it). A local training club (obedience and tracking, no freestyle) allows its members to practice on it when there is nothing else going on and it only costs me the membership that is 15 € per year.

Alva has learned a couple of new tricks too. One is stillwork in progress,she needs practice in aiming.

Awesome Dog
Barked: Fri Dec 14, '12 4:07pm PST 
It's tough when you don't have a group/class to train with. I got spoiled and had that for several years. Now, we're on our own. I take seminars whenever I can but it's not the same as having one-on-one instruction all the time. It's sort of nice to say "we did it on our own" but, honestly, I could use more feedback! wink I'm trying to get more interest in freestyle in our area but it's a hard sell. It's not as well-known of an activity and I think some people are put off by it. Maybe it's because they think it's silly. Or perhaps it seems really complicated and they're overwhelmed by it. Choreographing a routine does appear to be a daunting process but it gets easier the more you do it. It's really not THAT complicated but there are several things you need to keep in mind.

It is one of the more difficult dogsports out there. Some of the high-level routines have more than 100 cues per routine! Not to mention the performances can be 3-5 minutes long. That's a LONG time to keep your dog engaged with you. I think the challenge is part of the fun. Besides, it really doesn't feel like work when you're out there as a pair strutting your stuff!

Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 7:58am PST 
This is something I've been interested in getting into.
Not so much for competition purposes, but for the demo team we perform with. It'd be nice to have a few extra skills to bring to the table.

Looks like a ton of fun, and very rewarding for both the handler and the dog smile

Member Since
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 6:13pm PST 
Jamming along to the music is fine by me but I don't think I'll be listening to the lecture for the whole 2 hours. I've never tried HTM with my dog Peggy but maybe we can try it out. If only I were younger, maybe I could bust a big move. big laugh

Miss- Congeniality &- Adaptable
Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 4:46pm PST 
There are online groups such as at yahoo you can join to keep you motivated.
Tons of 'how to' training videos on youtube. Here's a list of some you might get some ideas from.