Learning to dance with your dog is possible by practicing the dancing dog or the obérhythmée. It is a complex and complete sporting discipline, like the dog sports popular such as agility, canicross, cani-kart, cani vtt, cani-rando, frisbee dog, tracking, biting or hitching. It appeals to your artistic and technical fiber, without necessarily being a dance ace. You must be able to achieve choreography with your dog and some sports figures of the style jump, turn on itself, footwork / paws, the goal being to highlight the animal and not the owner. Moreover, during a show or a competition, you must wear a costume, but not your dog who will only wear a decorative collar, a bow tie for example.
Dancing with your dog stimulates animal intelligence, proprioception, strengthens bonds and confidence, then suitable for all breeds of dogs, from the Miniature Spitz to the Australian Shepherd. Zoomalia will be your dance teacher today and accompany you to your first dance steps with your pet. Be careful, it will swing!
Before the dancing dog: educate your dog, train him, teach him the orders
Before starting the dancing dog, you must embark on a education benevolent canine, best, from an early age. Raising a puppy through a positive education requires working on your master / dog relationship. Dancing with your dog calls for concentration, obedience (hence the term obey-rhythm), learning to recall and other basic commands such as sitting, lying, standing, etc.
Also, you will have to respect the breed and character of your companion, know what he prefers and what works well as a reward (clicker or dog treat, or both). To learn more about raising a puppy, check out our full blog post and ask your vet for advice.
Once your young apprentice has trained enough, you can introduce him to dance. from 6 months by adopting these few tips:
- Track a treat or toy;
To assimilate the orders of his master (sitting, lying, standing, between the legs…);
Do some tricks or “acrobatics”;
Carry out a short session;
Structure the session by dividing each step of the choreography;
Stop if your dog is tired, distracted, or lacks concentration (now is not a good time for him).
Don’t worry, your dog may learn faster than his master 😉
From 1 year old, you can switch to sports jumps. If you are thinking of making one sport dog, canine fitness will support him and help him in his activities to work on muscle strengthening prohibited before the age of 6/9 months. It is better to wait until its growth is complete.
In addition to the age or seniority of your dog, you will take into account the physique and behavior of your dog, whether adult or senior. You will develop the relationship and complicity with your dog while making both of you happy.
Learn to dance dog while having fun
Without training and obedience, it is not possible to continue the adventure of the obérhythmée. Does your dog obey your orders? Perfect, so let’s start your initiation to dancing dog :
- step forward, step back, step out;
jumps over your leg and arm;
the twists on your thigh by alternating several back and forth;
the forward / backward slalom, your dog follows your index finger or your hand which guides him in the direction to follow;
the other more difficult dance figures: salute, show off, roll over, crawl, jump into his master’s arms, sing into the microphone (ah NO, it’s not the Voice!);
You make your dog work sequence by sequence, and not necessarily in chronological order, you repeat enough and make small movements. Then you can perform a fun and modern choreography. To do this, follow our effective recommendations: turn your garden or living room into a dance floor (outside, you risk attracting the curious gaze of neighbors or the public, the best way to get in shape for the future. show). Choose rhythmic music at a medium tempo (we avoid hard rock or electro), and favor modern jazz, Latin, ambiance or classical music that trains and motivates your dog.
Use the basic steps well understood by your dog, do not put him in difficulty, rather facilitate the learning of his new activity. Warmly reward your pet to encourage him to continue dancing. Repeat all the exercises every day for a short time (15 minutes maximum for a training session) during a walk for example. Don’t force your dog to dance (it might not be his wish or the right time for him) have fun and laugh, the dancing dog is anything but a coercive activity.
Boost Proprioception and its benefits
The development of proprioception of your dog undoubtedly allows you to succeed in dancing dog or any other dog sport. The animal becomes aware of its body and of its 4 limbs, which stimulates its physique and its mind, thus, it manages better the movements and the perception of its head, its body and its legs. Coordination being important in dance, your dog learns to move his head from right to left or from left to right, he gives the right or left paw, he knows how to sit, lie down and stay standing according to your orders. It also improves learning tricks. It is important to clearly distinguish all the orders you give it, namely, an order for a movement!
Here are some practical examples: say “spin” to make your dog turn clockwise. “Twist”, it spins in the opposite direction. With the word “paw”, he gives the paw the brave! and the word “the other”, it presents the other leg. Finally, “cross” to make it cross the front legs and “over” to uncross them.
We can see many other advantages of practicing the dancing dog, such as complicity, cooperation, obedience, relaxation. Indeed, sharing a sporting activity with your dog allows you to exercise mentally and physically, guaranteeing well-being, health and good humor. In addition, you do not need specific equipment or materials, therefore, no financial investment, nevertheless, a large personal investment.
Participate in a dancing dog competition: prepare well
What are the conditions for dancing dog competition ? After several months of training, that’s it, you are all ready, you and your dog, to present your performance in front of a professional jury. Your rhythmic choreography is synchronized to the music and lasts an average of 1 to 4 minutes. There are 2 types of dancing dog:
- Freestyle: your dog moves freely and can perform his tricks at a distance from his master or at the foot.
- Heelwork to music: it is a stricter obey-rhythm which fixes a maximum distance of 1.30 m between the master and the dancing dog in close proximity to each other.
There is no show outfit for the dog, only for you and possibly a small accessory for him. The dance floor is square or rectangular, ranging from the smallest 10×10 to the largest 25×25. The master commits to showcase what the dog can do, and not the opposite !
Warning, never turn your back on a jury which remains focused on the dog’s performance and notes both technique and artistry. You may lose points if your dog barks or is distracted by the public or other congeners. The owner and the dog must adapt to the environment while managing the stress of each. Not easy, but so rewarding!
You don’t have to be a dance ace in dancing dog ! Is it your passion? So go for it! The steps, movements, movements of the master and the dog must be linked to the music as smoothly as possible. And don’t forget to smile with full teeth on the track 🙂