“Freestyle” has a wide variety of exercises. Nothing is impossible: you can learn your dog to zigzag through your leggs, walk on his hind legs or jumping over the handler’s body. The more variety you have to offer, the higher the jury’s appreciation. But: the safety of your dog always comes first, the exercises should not be dangerous, never.
The best aspect of the sport is that you can do it with almost every dog, as long as the dog is healthy enough of course. Most exercises are taught with the so called Clicker method. Using the clicker enables you to point the desired behavior in a very accurate and precise way. It’s up to the dog to think for himself and find out what behavior yields the reward. That particular reward will become the motivator to work with you. The more easy your dog is to be motivated, the faster he will learn.
When the dog has learned a variety of exercises, the next challenge pops up, namely to connect the exercises in such a way, that a fluid routine arises, fitting the chosen music. Being a handler, you can choose your own special outfit to provide in an extra dimension to the routine. Your performance will be even more delightful to watch! But remember, first and foremost it’s always about having fun, even at the top level of the competition.
Heelwork to music
“Heelwork to music” derived from Obedience. In this particular form, a routine consists of 75% heelwork, supplemented with exercises in which the dog has to stay into a cirkel of 2 meters from the handler. Oftentimes, this type of sports is compared to equine dressage.
The heelwork can be carried out from different starting points, such as left or right of the handler; in front, behind or even transverse to the handler. Also, the direction of the heelwork can vary from forward, to move laterally and even backwards.
It is extraordinary to see how smooth dog and handler move along together to the music and it seems like it takes no effort, but believe me, many training hours have been invested.
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