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Agility, dog dancing, clicker training


Where it began - The idea of agility was born in 1978 when Crufts Dog Show needed something to fill up spare time in the main arena between the end of the obedience championships and the start of the group breed judging. Various dog training demonstrations were held over the years, some of which included dog jumping. The new demonstration had to be a nice to see test and it should be suited to the hard Olympia floor. The main idea of a dog jumping competition is based on the show jumping of horses. Some people put their heads together and they came out with a test based on vast practical dog training knowledge and experience in working trials. Main factors that had to be kept in mind were : that it should be fun, without being dangerous and it should have to amuse spectators. They built the equipment. Another club was contacted to form a second team of four dogs and they all helped each other with training ideas and modifications to equipment. And so the base was laid for the agility we know now.


In short, Agility is a sport in which a dog runs through a timed obstacle course under the guidance of the handler. Agility training strengthens the bond between dog and handler, and provides fun and exercise for both.



The Competition Runs - Agility dogs run their courses naked (no collar and no lead) to prevent hooking a collar or catching a leash on a piece of equipment and having it come crashing down. The Judge usually tells the handler when they may begin the course. The Timer starts the stopwatch as soon as any part of the dog crosses the start line and stops when any part of the dog crosses the finish line. 

Faults - Common course faults include: missing a contact zone, incorrect weave entry, non-completion of an obstacle, off course (taking an obstacle out of sequence), knocking a bar off, leaving the table before the judges count of 5, and exceeding the time allowed for completing the course.




 For more Information about Agility in Luxemburg CLA


The click is a marker signal

Clicker training is a science-based system for teaching behavior with positive reinforcement. You use a marker signal (the sound of a toy clicker) to tell the animal (or person) when it's doing the action that will pay off. The system was first widely used by dolphin trainers who needed a way to teach behavior without using physical force.

No corrections or punishment required

In traditional training, you tell an animal or person what to do, make that behavior happen (using force if necessary), reward good results, and punish mistakes. In clicker training you watch for the behavior you like, mark the instant it happens with a click, and pay off with a treat. The treat may be food, a pat, praise, or anything else the learner enjoys. If the learner makes a mistake all you do is wait and let them try again.

Replacing the clicker with praise

Clicker trainers focus on building behavior, not stopping behavior. Instead of yelling at the dog for jumping up, you click it for sitting. Instead of kicking the horse to make it go, you click it for walking. Then, click by click, you "shape" longer sits, or more walking, until you have the final results you want. Once the behavior is learned, you keep it going with praise and approval and save the clicker and treats for the next new thing you want to train.


It's fun and exciting for pets and people

Dogs and other animals quickly learn that the marker signal means, "Something good is coming." Then they realize they can make you click by repeating their behavior. They become enthusiastic partners in their own training. In people, clicking reduces the need for correction and is especially useful for training physical skills. Clicker training is exciting for animals and fun for us. And it's easy to do. You might get results on the very first try.


"Musical Freestyle (Dog-Dancing) is a choreographed musical program performed by handlers and their dogs. The object of musical freestyle is to display the dog and handler in a creative, innovative and original dance, using music and intricate movements to showcase teamwork, artistry, costuming, athleticism and style in interpreting the theme of the music. Heelwork-to-Music incorporates traditional dog obedience and the art of dressage with the inclusion of musical interpretation, dance elements, and costuming with an emphasis on non-standard obedience movements. Both Musical Freestyle and Heelwork-To-Music routines should create a visually exciting display which is enjoyable to watch and which is equally enjoyable to dogs and handlers executing the programs. Canine freestyle is a showcase that truly demonstrates the joys and fun of bonding with your pet." 



Musical Canine Freestyle or just Dog-Dancing is simply dancing with dogs to music. It is a fun sport for the owners and dogs, and the audience. We at Ventre Advertising Inc. call it the "Tail Waggin' Sport"! Based on basic obedience training, it adds other dimensions such as music, timing, costuming, routine development, showmanship.

In order to dance with your dog(s) to music, there are some simple basic procedures that you should follow. First, you start by selecting a     musical composition to which you would like to dance. It may be one particular piece or you may edit several different pieces of music to create your own special music. Once you have the music, the second step is choreographing a routine to your music. This means you should design steps and movements for yourself and your dog(s) to execute that relate to the music you have selected. They may be comprised of basic obedience steps, variations on obedience steps, dressage movements, tricks or any new step you may create. It is important to plan the steps and movements within a defined area, covering the area as fully as possible. The third step is selecting costuming for you and your dog(s). Your outfits should coordinate with the theme of the music you have selected and be pleasing to an audience.
Once you have completed these three basic steps and put it all together, you now have a musical canine freestyle performance that you can take to a demo or a competition event. At a competition, there is a fourth step you must consider-meeting the rules/guidelines defined by the governing (musical) canine freestyle organization.


The Beginning Developments:

The first rumblings in regard to musical canine freestyle started in Canada in the late eighties, in Europe in the late eighties and early nineties and in the USA in the early nineties. Several people claim to have invented this new sport: obedience trainers, dressage trainers, choreographers and show business personalities.

Here are a few others who say they invented this sport that I have met since 1990: a retired teacher who did pattycake on a tennis court with her dog to music; a child ballerina who was practicing in her living room for a recital when her mother, a dog trainer, noticed their dog dancing with her; A skater, who also took his dog to obedience school noticed his dog working along with him as he practiced his moves; A therapy dog and her owner who decided to strut their stuff to music to make it more appealing to the seniors they were visiting.


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