Good List Of Tricks For Beginner Canine Freestyle?

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by kcmetric, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    I want to start choreographing a freestyle routine, we've never done it before though. I keep imaging these things in my head but the tricks would take a long time to teach, besides. I figure it's best to choreograph around the tricks you already know, lol.

    What are some good, standard tricks to get started with?

    Some of the ones we already that I think would be pretty standard are bow, back up, weave through legs, spin, roll over, and march in place (we're working on raising the criteria for it to be while moving).

    We still need to work on our heel but I've only found videos for the loose leash walking heel; no competition heeling videos -- know of any good ones? I've seen the pivoting for rear end awareness but I don't know how to incorporate it into walking.
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  2. Anneke Honored Member

    Spin left and right are great. Once your dog can do these, you can spin yourself. Either doing the same spin or spin the other way around. Both look nice. And it is a nice way to change direction.
    But that is as far as my creativity goes on this. I am truely hopeless at this.
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  3. MaryK Honored Member

    I'm already working on spinning with Ra Kismet, it's a great one for Canine Freestyle. Plus Walking on hind legs; backing from a 'distance'; jump through your arms/hoop/over your legs; bow; move sideways;

    Will think of more and add, but it's very late and LOL my brains already asleep!
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  4. k9 crazed Experienced Member

    A lot of the moves are variations so like back in a circle around you, backwards weave through your legs, back up while on either side of you..
    Spin in heel, spin in front of you circle round you(both directions). feet up on you walking, feet up on you while you're turning in a circle, while your backing up... What I used to like to do with my old collie was put on some music I liked and play around with the movements- to see how things kind of flowed(not that I was much good) but it might give you some ideas. You will find your dog is much better suited to some tempos. Or pick a routine you like and try to copy it so you get a sense of how things work. With the heeling start with just short bits in your living room rewarding for your dog being right where you want him, start with just a few steps- teach both sides. Okay, that's all the ideas I have for the moment...
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  5. MaryK Honored Member

    Thanks K9 Crazed, you saved me having to think:D Yes, that's what I do with Ra Kismet, put on music and play around. And your dog will let you know which tempo he likes, dogs have great rhythm. So try out quite a few different tempos, types of music, and watch your dog's reaction.
    We're working on him 'partnering' me - i.e. one of his paws on my waist and I hold his other paw up then we dance together:D

    Also, working as K9 suggests with his heel work, getting him to move easily with me right or left.

    And with your hand cues, make them very subtle, watch Michelle Polette (sorry forgotten how to spell her surname) her cues are so slight, or built into the routine, they're hard to pick. In her "Smile" routine she actually uses 87 cues, picking them is very hard, you have to watch very closely.
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  6. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    Are we allowed to use audible cues?
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  7. MaryK Honored Member

    No, nor are you allowed treats either. All cues must be worked into the routine, the more subtle the cue, the higher the mark.

    Eyes, smiles/facial cues, hand gestures worked in as part of the choreography, props etc. are allowed.

    Here is the url for Michele Pouliet's home page it has the Chaplin (Smile) Routine on it. Watch that, you'll need to watch more than once, and see her cues. She's been awarded seven or ten forget how many, special prizes for perfect scores.
    http://cdf-freestyle.com/
    Hint there are 84 cues in the Smile routine!
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  8. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    Thanks, but my mac says it can't open it?

    Well, we tried just trying to dance around to some music and it went awful. Baby seemed like he wasn't even trying, he was way more focused on just getting a treat and was all over the place and occasionally did tricks other than the ones I was asking for just to get the treat sooner. His lack of attention on me was apparent and this frustrated me which just perpetuated the situation. Ugh. Just ranting I guess.
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  9. MaryK Honored Member

    The same vid is on YouTube and elsewhere, google for it and you should find one which will work with Mac. Haven't used a Mac for a while, so not able to suggest why it's refusing to allow you to open the vid. If not p.m. me and I'll upload my one to Ra Kismet's FaceBook page, or YouTube, whichever suits you best.:)

    Don't really try to dance at first, that's a big ask, no matter how well your dog does tricks, this is a whole new ball game for them.

    Start just playing different types of music and more walking (in time) around to the music. Watch your dog carefully and see which type/rhythm etc. your dog responds too - dogs WILL show you what they like - you'll see a change in the way they move. i.e. Ra Kismet will almost go to sleep with a very slow number, which is fortunate as fast numbers as a rule go down better with judges, gets too excited with anything too upbeat with a really fast 6/8 tempo, not really suitable for freestyle dancing but loves something in a 4/4 or 3/4 tempo. He also likes latin music, blues and classical. Try a lot of different tempos, styles, types etc. of music. Everything from heavy metal to classical. Make sure it's also something you like though but the most important thing is watching your dog's reaction. If you haven't a big variety of music yourself, google and find different types to play.

    Once your dog has told you which tempo and type of music, type is also very important, then start to just do simple tricks to the music, DO NOT try to actually choreograph the routine at this point. Also, with or without music, I started without, start to chain tricks together i.e. roll over to crawl up to sit pretty then up to stand on hind legs is just one of the 'chains' I've worked on with Ra Kismet. Start with just chaining a couple of tricks together, and then add more tricks. This gets the dog 'thinking' and used to putting together a number of tricks, rather than just offering one trick and getting a reward, don't reward of course until the entire chain is completed. That's why you start with just chaining two tricks together, easy baby steps.

    Try, this is the hardest part really, to work with 'bare hands' keep treats out of sight, in your pocket etc. and only show the treat,click/treat, WHEN YOUR DOG HAS PERFORMED THE TRICK. Plus a tip Michelle gives is to never use the same side when giving a treat, i.e. if you always use your left hand/side, change it over and 'mix it up' so the dog has to watch YOU and not the bait bag, or whatever you use, for the treat. Keep your bag of whatever at your back, that makes it easy to change sides. I'm finding this one a bit difficult too, it takes practice on both sides (dog and yourself) to 'get it'. But it does work - eventually!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a good thing to practice in general 'trick work' too.

    Plus when you do eventually get to choreographing an entire routine, start at the end and work backwards, for some reason, to be honest not sure why, this works better with dogs!

    Don't expect your dog to dance like a pro first off, free style takes a LOT of practice and patient on both sides:rolleyes::)

    You should have seen the mess Ra Kismet and I made on our first attempts, plus my golden oldie decided to 'get into the act' and wandered into our dance space, which caused some massive collisions and 'pile ups' with Ra Kismet doing some stunning leaps over Zeus!

    Keep going, it does get easier with time, practice and TONS of patience:D


    Sorry this post is long, just one last tip - work on 'look at me' getting his focus on you, no music, nothing else, do this EVERY day for at least two weeks until his head whips around and he gazes into your eyes (focus MUST be on your EYES not the bait bag) and not on the bag of treats before he's rewarded just a second of total focus on your eyes at first then increase the duration! Then just do it once a week, to maintain the 'whiplash' focus.:)
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  10. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I've looked around but for some reason can't find it anywhere else =(
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  11. MaryK Honored Member

    I'll upload my copy tomorrow, my time, it's very late here now (after 1.a.m.) and sometimes YouTube takes forever to upload vids. I think I'll have to upload there first, as it's probably too heavy to upload directly to FaceBook. Will send you a p.m. when it's up.:)
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  12. Dlilly Honored Member

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  13. MaryK Honored Member

    Here is the "Smile" Charlie Chaplain routine. As you will see it's a slow routine, not normally the best choice, BUT with choreography this good and a flawless performance it was a 10/10 winner! The cues are subtle, to find them all takes some doing!




    This is Carolyn and Rookie, in a quite different number - You're The One That I love - equally as good - and Rookie helps with the Choreography:) Sadly Rookie died of cancer, but he's left us all with a wonderful legacy, such a joyful dance.




    I hope these help you. When I get frustrated I watch these two videos and remember they too had to start at the beginning too.:)
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  14. MaryK Honored Member

    Great site! Thank you for the share, you can never learn too much. Have bookmarked and will read through properly, just skimmed it now time as always is against me, but will make it my Friday night read! Noticed the beginners routine is a really good one:) Would suit all types of dogs.
  15. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    I got some videos from tawzerdog -- it's like doggie netflix. I got one on freestyle so I can't wait to watch it.

    Thanks so much for the videos and links! That Smile routine is really something, Baby is a bit of a slower mover so I was thinking Mister Cellophane from Chicago.
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  16. MaryK Honored Member

    Will have to check out that site, thanks for the share:) Isn't it something else (Smile) it sends goose bumps all over me every time I watch it.:love:

    Pleasure! :)

    That's a great number for a slow mover, love the song too actually love Chicago the show and the movie! Good tempo, shouldn't be too hard to chorrie, especially for a beginner. Let me know how you get on:)

    Not sure if I said that dog's are ONLY allowed a 'fancy color' nothing more and it pays for the handler to keep their costume in keeping but not so over the top is detracts from the dog - who's the star of course:D As you've seen props are allowed. Sorry if I've repeated myself, once again it's late, so brain isn't working well as it's already asleep:sleep::D
  17. k9 crazed Experienced Member

    Here's something that might help( and those near it!);)
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