Ready to tango with your terrier? Do the mambo with your mutt? Canine Freestyle is, in essence, dog training set to music—with a heaping helping of artistry thrown in. The first rule to learn is: Have fun! The idea is that you and your dog carry out a choreographed sequence of moves to music, mixing positive dog training with fun, exercise, and showmanship. Freestyle combines a variety of common training moves like Heel and Sit-Stay with show-stopping tricks like Take a Bow, Weave, Twirl, Jump, and Back Up. Teaching your dog all these cues and timing the moves to music challenges your training chops, creativity, and patience. Freestyle is open to anyone and can be enjoyed at all levels— from your living room to national competitions where you and your dog will don elaborate costumes and perform in front of adoring crowds. You get to develop your own routine to showcase your dog’s strengths; the only prerequisite is that you work with your own dog (no hired handlers). So, put on your glad rags, queue up your favorite tune, and start shaking some bootie.
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