Dancing with your Dog!

November 16, 2009 8:01:18 AM PST
Glitter adorned, long legged and high heeled dancers are what we're familiar with seeing in the ballroom. Not four legged, fur covered, howlers!

This is dancing with your dog!

"What it really is is a series of movements or tricks choreographed to music."

Sally Silverman teaches "canine freestyle" at Y2K9's in Wyndmoor, Montgomery County.

"A lot of dogs already have moves. If they heel and they'll come around you know you're on your way, you're starting."

Popular moves include dogs weaving between owners' legs, twisting jumps and variations on walking backwards.

You can pair those with some more advanced techniques. For example, "Dolce" is perfecting jumping and staying inside a box when his owner says "trouble". "Bounce" is learning to walk on a barrel. And "Reese" can just about ride a skateboard. Entwine those together with music and you have a routine!

"A lot of it is how you manage to link the movements together and use your music and use your costuming to create a whole package."

Sally has even designed routines using two of her dogs at the same time! She's a member of the World Canine Freestyle Organization which hosts competitions all over the world. There's no monetary award but definitely ribbons and "barking" rights.

While at practice, Karen Schelling and "Riley" performed their latest routine. Karen doesn't compete but says she enjoys the bonding experience she gets from dancing with "Riley".

"Oh it's great fun; it's just such a joy to have that connection with your dog."

Any dog can participate in canine freestyle; they just need to have some basic obedience.

"The dog should know to sit and down and stay and listen to you."

Any age dog can do this and even some handicaps are not a problem. "Raisin" is deaf but can still strut his stuff.

To get started invest in some small, enticing treats and ask your pet to do something, start small and build from there. And of course, practice, practice, practice.

The rates for these classes run between $90 and $115 depending on if you are a member at Y2K9s club. Click here for more information.

World Canine Freestyle Organization = click here to offer a donation


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