Dog Dancing: what is it? Where and how to practice this dog sport?

Dog Dancing is an activity that involves dancing with your dog. We are not talking here about dance in the proper sense of the term, but about a series of tricks to be performed with your pet. Dog Dancing is a real discipline that is practiced in clubs and even at a professional level. Here’s everything you need to know about this creative activity for your dog.

Definition: what is Dog Dancing?

Dog dancing was born in England. The activity very quickly conquered the United States before arriving in Europe. Dog dancing is a discipline recognized by the Central Canine Society as an official sport.

Dog dancing is therefore an activity that a master offers his dog. This discipline is fun and comes in different specialties namely Freestyle and Obey-rhythm (obedience-rhythm). The latter is more complete but also more strict.

It is not necessary to have a good level in dance to practice dog dancing. Both masters and dogs do simple but very structured sequences. However, you have to have a sense of rhythm. If you are interested in freestyle, it is also best to be imaginative! Dog dancing is done to music. It is always a pleasant moment for the owner as well as for the dog who forges links.

The different types of Dog Dancing

There are two types of dog dancing. The first is Freestyle. This discipline consists of creating and performing a series of obedience turns. Freestyle is very free, the owners and their dog can be at a distance or near and the sequences are not subject to any obligation.

The other specialty of dog dancing is obey-rhythm, also called Heelwork to music. Very structured, this discipline is subject to strict regulations. Masters and their dogs must maintain a maximum distance. The discipline therefore relies on union and coordination.

Why practice dog dancing?

Dog dancing is not the most popular canine activity. It is much less practiced than agility! It should be noted that there is also a lack of knowledge of this discipline. Teaching dog dancing to your dog, but especially with your dog, is beneficial. Here is a non-exhaustive list of assets. Dog dancing allows you to:

  • strengthen the relationship with your dog,
  • improve the obedience of your dog,
  • to spend,
  • enjoy a fun and sporting activity,
  • practice an inexpensive activity.

Dog dancing is for all dogs. The variety of figures depends on the possibilities of the dog and the creativity of his master. Moreover, it is not uncommon for practitioners who indulge in dog dancing to do so with each of their dogs. Even if the activity is for all dogs, it is imperative to respect its abilities. It would be a shame if your pet gets injured or develops a herniated disc due to inappropriate movements.

How to learn dog dancing?

Learning dog dancing can be done in different ways. There are several methods that allow you to learn a sequence of turns.

Invest in a clicker

It is possible to work with a clicker. As a reminder, a clicker is a small box that allows you to emit a dry sound. It is used for recall. The master activates the box, a click is emitted, the dog takes his action and he is rewarded. Here are the different learning methods to use for the practice of dog dancing.

Work from the natural behavior of your dog through capture

Catching is a real learning method that can be used for dog dancing but also in many other activities. The main one is simple, when the dog behaves well, and in a natural way, he must be rewarded. Even if this training technique does not allow you to learn steps or sequences, it allows the dog to feel valued. Thus, he will be happier to work and more obedient.

Using a treat or toy

To work with what is called a lure, you must first choose the one that will please your dog the most. For some it is a treat, for others it is a toy. Thanks to this lure, you can teach your animal a position or a sequence. For it to be beneficial to work with a lure, this method must be used occasionally when the voice is not enough or to test a new exercise.

Reward progress through shaping

Shaping is a training method that consists of rewarding your animal when its actions are close to the expected result. It’s okay if that’s not exactly what you asked him to do! The goal is to improve every day. Shaping is for dogs who are used to training. They can thus improve their ability to think.

Exploit targets

To teach your dog the patterns, and thus excel at dog dancing, it is possible to use targets. The principle is simple, your dog must reach a target with or without performing a trick. This target can be on the ground or in your hand. It is essential for building movements.

The limits of dog dancing

Dog dancing is a fun activity that must be enjoyable. It is therefore necessary to respect the capacities of his dog. The work must be progressive but above all, it must remain beneficial for the owner and his dog. The goal is to find the best learning methods which will then be of use to you in dog training.

Vigilance is essential with the most fragile dogs. Some dogs, due to their morphology, are more easily injured. Some breeds are also less enduring. Before embarking on dog dancing, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a specialist instructor or even a veterinarian in order to find out about the possibilities of your animal.

Other canine activities

Canine activities are very numerous. In addition to dog dancing, here are some examples of activities.

  • Agility, also called agility-dog, allows to combine physical activity and education. This discipline offers the dog to complete a course by overcoming obstacles. The role of the master is to ensure that the stages of the course are respected and to encourage his companion. Agility is most often done in a club.
  • Canicross is an intense physical activity which is not intended for all dogs, nor for all owners. You have to be athletic! The principle is simple, you have to run in different environments with your dog. To do a canicross session, handlers must wear a belt on which the dog’s leash is attached.
  • The frisbee is an activity accessible to all dogs and above all an inexpensive discipline. Frisbee is practiced in large spaces. The master throws the frisbee, the dog catches it in flight and brings it back to its master.
  • Tracking is an activity that consists of finding a trail and then following it using your sense of smell. This discipline is used to train dogs used by rescuers or customs officers.

Having an activity with your dog is very rewarding! Whether you choose dog dancing or another discipline, you can count on the many dog ​​clubs present throughout France.