New To Canine Freestyle!

Discussion in 'Dog Sports' started by Caiti, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. Caiti Experienced Member

    Wylie and I are currently newbies to canine freestyle! :)

    For months now Ive been working with Wylie and teaching him tricks. He knows 20+ and the number is still growing!

    A little while ago, we decided to take on canine freestyle. Wylie is a very active dog who loves who learn new things and do things with me.

    Does anyone have any tips for us? Any moves we should learn? We know spin, figure eight through and around jump for joy, aswell as a bunch of others. Videoes are welcome too!

  2. fickla Experienced Member

    Have fun!!! Really work on your heeling on both sides as it is the glue that holds your tricks! Then think of cool transitions you can use to get from one trick to another seamlessly. I'm sure you'll have a full routine in no time!
  3. Caiti Experienced Member

    Thanks! We have a few moves put together but not enough for a full routine. Tommorow we are starting heeling and working on our heelwork.

    I have a question. I have never taught heel before.....can I teach it using luring or should I use a leash? Should I use a different cue for right and left?

    Another question, Ive heard that you should never practice the entire routine at once. Is this because the dog will become bored? Are there any other reasons?
  4. fickla Experienced Member

    I would use a different word for heeling on your left vs on your right. There are many ways to teach it with no wrong answer as long as you're both having fun. I do recommend teaching it without a leash as freestyle is done off leash and besides the clue as to whether your dog is in position or not should not be dependent on hitting the end of the leash before coming back.

    Choose to heel is a very beginner friendly method. You just need a large boring area and some good treats.
    I personally like teaching heeling through brick/perch/pivot work where I teach pivoting in heel and side stepping before I ever take a step forward. There are you tube videos of both methods, and plenty of others.

    With whatever method you decide on, remember that the key in all of them is eye contact. If my dog isn't looking at me we don't take one step.

    I am not very involved in freestyle, have only put together one little routine, so don't know the answer about practicing the full routine. My advice would be to divide it into sections so you can practice and perfect different sequences down pat. This way you can really focus on difficult parts for your dog and reward appropriately while still working on the transitions and flow. It could be really hard to always practice a 2min routine since you would inevitably be letting the dog rehearse lazily and be hard to make the work fun and engaging the entire time. Practice the full routine without the dog so you can get the mechanics down and can then devote 100% of your attention to your dog without worrying about remembering what's next.
  5. JRT-Smurf Member

    I don't do htm but have put together a video of tricks and added the music to it afterwards, which more by luck appeared to be in time with some of the moves - anyhow - hopefully I will attach it here - in case it gives you any ideas of moves you might like to include:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK8fS7WVtDs
  6. jackienmutts Honored Member

  7. Caiti Experienced Member

    Thanks guys! Do you know any good books on canine freestyle?

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