Dancing With Dogs

A strong Team GB for Open Europeans - 24/05/2017

Last year I was honoured to be head judge at the Open European Championships in Austria. It was a very well run event with everything going like clockwork which was no mean feat with so many teams competing.

Routines can be like spinning plates - 09/05/2017

Itís very common when training a routine that some things will be going well while others not so good. I often say that keeping all the moves in a routine up together is a bit like spinning plates, some you need to give help to, others you leave...

Summary of recommendations - 26/04/2017

Last December the heework to music working party met for its second annual meeting of the year. At these meetings the party discuss not only topics that have been raised in the last six months but also look forward to plan for the future of the...

Top performances at unique Crufts - 11/04/2017

A RARE event happened at Crufts which made the international competition even more interesting than usual. This competition always is an exciting one to watch as you never know what routines are going to be done.

Crufts Heelwork to Music: Third in a row for Lucy and Skiffle - 14/03/2017

Once again the freestyle and heelwork to music finals at Crufts dazzled, impressed and entertained the audience around the Arena. The finals ran like clockwork and itís thanks to chief organiser of the HTM competitions, Gina Pink, and her team...

Getting dressed up for the occasion - 14/03/2017

One of the aspects of freestyle/Heelwork to music that differs from any other dog sport is the fact that the handler is scored for their costume. In the early days of the sport there were many handlers who would just dress smartly and perform a...

Early training makes a good prospect - 01/03/2017

Itís the time of year when I see a lot of people getting new puppies and starting them out on the road to getting trained for their chosen discipline.

Keeping your obedience levels up - 31/01/2017

At this time of year there are very few events to attend so itís a good idea to remind any dog of its obedience exercises. When you initially watch the sport it is the tricks that might attract you to have a go but itís not these that you need to...

The PEA principle: preparation is key - 17/01/2017

No matter how experienced a competitor you are there are always some nerves when it comes to competing at a show. I think you do need some nerves to perform at your best but of course not too many that it affects your performance.

Things to consider when judging - 04/01/2017

One of the most important roles at a show is that of the judges as after all it is their opinion that the competitors have entered for. This means that the judges must know what they are looking for and be professional at all times.

Rugby gets into the Christmas spirit - 20/12/2016

For the second year running the K9 Performance group headed by Annette Leslie organised a Christmas fun show at the Rugby dog training barn. This event was a big hit last year as it was very much aimed at encouraging new handlers to dip their toe...

Popular props and their many uses - 07/12/2016

Using props in routines has become commonplace nowadays as they allow the handler to develop other moves. Handlers have to be very inventive about how they get the props they require as many cannot be bought off the shelf.

Bring out the toys for training - 23/11/2016

In Heelwork to music and freestyle training you will find food and play are the major rewards that are used. These rewards are essential for keeping the dogís interest and motivation during training and then performances.

Good standards set in the north - 09/11/2016

On the first weekend in October there was the inaugural heelwork to music competition run by the Free Paws HTM team.

OEC freestyle out of this world - 26/10/2016

In my last article I reported on the Open European Heelwork To Music and Freestyle Championships in Austria. The first day had been taken up with the HTM competition which I watched as I had been asked to be head judge for the event.

A trip to Austria for the European Open - 12/10/2016

It was a couple of years ago that I was asked while teaching in Austria if I would be the head judge at the Open European Freestyle and HTM Championships.

More qualifiers for the Crufts semis - 28/09/2016

The competition band wagon has been moving on apace over the summer with some new shows that handlers could enter. There are still areas of the country where there are very few competitions within two hours of travelling, so you do have to be...

Trying to fix a problem move - 14/09/2016

Throughout the summer my training of Herbie has been a bit on and off as he hasnít seemed to be able to cope with too much training in one session.

Starting out in heelwork to music - 31/08/2016

One of the recent booklets produced by the working party was a beginnerís guide to heelwork to music and freestyle. There was some good advice about entering shows...

How can standards be improved? - 17/08/2016

Following on from my last article where I was looking at one of the topics on the working party recommendations. This time I will focus on some of the other points the working party has either informed the heelwork to music community about or...

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