Teach Your Dog to Twerk with Big Freedia
Big Freedia is the official Guinness World Records holder for enticing the most amount of people to engage in simultaneous twerking. If you're late to the twerk fest, consider it the discipline of booty shaking.
Along with being an iconic bounce music icon, Big Freedia is also a proud owner of two lovable dogs. Naturally, I felt it prudent to ask Freedia how you can teach your dog to twerk. Still a little confused? Here's a somewhat instructional video to help out:
It turns out, getting a canine to shake his or her tush isn't such a far-fetched goal. Big Freedia even mentioned that one of her dogs has invented something of a signature tail-based dance! Oh, and then for kicks, I asked Freedia what sort of dog breed recent twerk convert Miley Cyrus would be. Read on for the revelation.
Dogster: How many dogs do you own?
I have two, a Poodle and a Miniature Schnauzer. They're called Rita and Sensation. Rita is the Poodle and she's very prissy, and she likes her own ways and she's old so she's very arrogant and poppin'. She's the little bougie one!
Sensation, on the other hand, is the one I would say is the more gangsta one. She's more ready to attack and is more defensive of me. She's very playful, 'cause she's very young and she also has that face where when she does something wrong, it will suck you in and make you not want to whoop her ass!
What sort of things does Sensation do to get in trouble?
She tears up everything! Anything she can find, she tears it up!
How do Sensation and Rita get along? Are they friends?
Oh, yeah. Sensation is the newer puppy, so they still fight for territorial space sometimes and they'll play a little tug-of-war with the toy. It can be a really cute moment when Sensation aggravates the hell out of Rita. She's very playful, so she wants to always play, and Rita is old and just wants to lay down and relax.
Where did you get Sensation and Rita from?
My uncle gave me Rita, and two of my fans gave me Sensation. Their dog had just had puppies, and they got in touch with me on Facebook and told me they wanted me to have one; they were actually living four or five blocks from my house, so they didn't stay far from me at all. I figured it was about time Rita needed a new friend so I got her.
Which toys do they fight over?
There's this little yellow one they have, with a funny little squeaking sound inside of it. They fight all the time over that one. Everything Rita plays with, Sensation gets jealous of it. They both have several toys but she just likes to play with Rita and interact with Rita for a lot of things but Rita always just wants to relax. And Rita was playing with the toys for herself for a long time, so now it's a new thing when there's someone else who wants to play with your toys.
Do you think it's possible to teach a dog to twerk?
Well, with my dogs, Sensation is still learning but Rita, one day, I was watching her as she walked and she was wiggling her tail. I was like, "We're gonna invent a new dance called Wiggle Your Tail!" So that's a way to start getting your dog to do a little dance. Slowly but surely, I'm trying to teach Sensation to wiggle her tail too.
How do you go about teaching Sensation to do the Wiggle Your Tail?
She's a terrier, so it's a little hard 'cause she's so rough. I'm also thinking about teaching her how to stand on her back legs and getting her to do something like that as the start of a dance.
Are there any specific songs you recommend as being good to teach a dog to twerk to?
Yes, basically any of my songs! When we put on music they do get excited with what they're listening to and if everybody else is having a good time they want to bark and jump up and interact with everybody. "Get Amongst It" is a song that has a lot of commands in it for the lyrics, so I think that would be a good start.
Is it possible to teach a dog to wiggle its tail in time with the music?
Sometimes they will jump on me automatically when they're wiggling the tail, so you can use that to guide the dog. I've seen Rita wiggle her tail several times and I've noticed it's in time with the beat. I'm not really a dog trainer, but they listen to my command of voice in everything, so you can use your voice to get them to follow you and do commands.
What are your tips to train a dog well?
It's about repetitive training and repetitive voice commands. So, it's a repetitive command and then you add the movement to go with it. You can start with playing music all the time and getting the dogs to interact physically; let them know what you want them to do with your command of voice. Always keep encouraging the dog and show them what you want them to do.
Which of your dogs was the easiest to train?
Rita, of course! Sensation is still young and still hard-headed. I still have a challenge with her eating the paper and everything! She's just hard-headed.
Do you think certain breeds of dog are easier to train to dance?
Definitely. I think the easiest dog to train to twerk would probably be a Poodle and probably a Golden Retriever too. They are very obedient. But I think a Pit Bull or a Rottweiler would not be easy to teach to twerk -- they're too angry.
What outfits do you recommend a dog wears while twerking?
For a Poodle, I think you want to go with little dresses or a Christmas outfit. But I put my dogs in certain things if it's a holiday, so they have seasonal costumes more than costumes to dance in.
Will they be dressing as anything for Halloween this year?
Unfortunately not, because I'll be on the road. It was like that last year too.
How do Sensation and Rita react when you get home from tour?
Oh my god! They are jumping up and barking and they basically almost jump into my arms!
Miley Cyrus has started twerking recently. What dog breed do you think she would be?
You just want me to say something funny! [Pauses] Miley would be a Pomeranian.
About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world's foremost expert on rappers' cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it's not quite what you think it is.