In response to the many who e-mailed asking "what is freestyling?" that was mentioned in my post of January 1, it is a fun and relatively easy sport that that combines music, dancing, and a few basic obedience commands for poochy parents and pals.
For one of the absolute BEST routines ever, click here (and get ready to smile!).
Don't be intimidated by what you see... it takes lots of practice and patience to get that level of teamwork between Carolyn Scott and Rookie down pat. 15 years in their case!
Begin by teaching your fur friend 3-4 different "tricks" WITHOUT the music. You can get him or her to weave through your legs, spin in a circle, and even back up by luring with a favorite treat (hint: keep the treats small or you'll have a ballooning bow-wow!) and a consistent command (such as "weave", "spin", "back"). The all important "bow" at the conclusion of the routine is always a big crowd pleaser!
Once the two of you have reliably mastered the tricks, select a piece of music to work them into. Make it a short piece... and don't be afraid to repeat the tricks a number of times throughout.
For those of you who have two left feet (like your dog... and me!), don't try incorporating any fancy shmancy moves. But be sure to add in a few extra twirls of your own so the tailwagger isn't doing all of the work!
There are canine freestyle clubs across the United States... and even the world... but even if you don't have one near you or don't want to compete, it's a great way to spend time with your favorite fur baby!