04 December 2008

Canine Freestyle, aka teaching dogs to dance-a primer.

So you know there's this dog thing called canine freestyle, right? You heard of this? Agility sort of a fringe sport, canine freestyle totally fringey. Really good dog trainers teach their dogs to dance around with them, sort of peppy, strictly ballroom-like. To show tunes or boogie woogie or country music hits. Or I dunno what else. Maybe stuff not found in my ipod. Dogs sort of scoot around behind you, backwards, forwards, in and out your legs. It's bouncy. Spinny. With very unfortunate people costumes. And hair. Think sequin vests left over from the jazz dance recital in 1989. Think spirit fingers with a top hat and a spiffy magician cane. Soft black leather shoes doing a shuffle off to buffalo. Lady tuxes. A little weirdo actually, and a little ho hum.

So not our cup of poison. It actually sort of gives me the queesies to watch a whole video of a canine freestyle. Just something about it, a little bit creepy in a beasty sort of way. Sorry freestylers out there. Who am I to judge? Kiss dogs all the time. Wear weird costumes all the time. Currently wearing a fluffy brown cap with pink and lime squares on it and leopard lounge pants and a polarfleece jacket in the house flinging a soggy squirrel duck that keeps ending up in my lap across the room. You would think I'd be lining up for the freestyle, but I'm not feeling the love, puppies.

Maybe just not relating to the genre. I don't do Dancing with the Stars. But I do like my hip hop videos. And the old school stuff. Zombies and Jacko. Had this idea, could I teach the dogs the zombie part of Thriller? You guys all know this one, right? You learned it a long time ago, hitting pause, hitting pause, hitting pause. How else you learn your Michael J moves? I think I learned it from my old friend G, who passed away this time last year. Since I dropped out of the dance universe because of all the time spent with the dogs, I think G would be happy, wherever he is now, that I'm back, teaching the dogs the zombie part.

For a good Thriller, you need really a LOT of zombies. Maybe all you guys teach your dogs, too? There's about a million videos on youtube to learn Thriller from. Not totally like what else you see in the canine freestyle thing, but way more my style. Old school grooves and something for the whole Team to do as a family. I'm not the most talented dog trainer. Going to take years to get this going. You know how long it took to get Gustavo doing weave poles? Ruby and Otterpop doing a moonwalk and werewolf and swim claw at the same time? This could be our lifetime project.

So everyone going to teach along with me, this is a good place to start. Let me know how your progress goes.


Anonymous said...

Laura, once again you have made my (whole) day.

Elf said...

OOooh, there's a freestyle I could get into. Might keep boost from sneaking into the living room to steal the special toys. Best freestyle video I found was a charlie chaplin redo, with the dog knocking down or tripping the little tramp repeatedly. Very funny. Don't know whether it won any prizes, but that's the kind of thing I'd do with freestyle!

Anonymous said...

Check out this video of Attila and Fly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0RjKJfuPbE A lot more substance than show tunes.

team small dog said...

Fly is a very brave dog out there with that crazy guy with the sword and worst of all, sandals with socks.

Gussie said...

I'm waiting for alternative freestyle. A full length routine to Nick Cave's Mercy Seat mebbe? Ad lib to fade.

Pam said...

:oD Great idea
I actually like freestyle cos you can come up with daft ideas like that
Really doubt I could ever really plan a routine and prance around infront of people, but teaching the tricks really helps the dogs agility! and its fun (in your own home)

Anonymous said...


Hm. doggy... thriller... apparently someone has done that song.