Canine Freestyle is a choreographed performance with music,
illustrating the training and joyful relationship of a dog
and handler team.
The objective of Freestyle is to present the dog to his best
advantage in a creative and artistic manner. A Freestyle presentation
is always accompanied by music selected to suit the rhythms of
the dog. Freestyle should demonstrate, with appropriate music,
the grace, beauty and intelligence of the dog working in harmony
with the handler. A Freestyle presentation should clearly show
the dog's athleticism, attentiveness, flexibility and training.
All handler movements should complement and enhance the dog's
movements. Teamwork is essential.
Structure of a Freestyle Performance
The structure of a Freestyle performance is a balance of technical
and artistic/choreographic elements presented in a creative
The foundations for the technical aspects of a Freestyle presentation
are heel and front positions. All other movements are relative
to these two positions. However, Freestyle should not look like
an obedience heeling pattern which has been extended and set
The foundations for the artistic aspects of a Freestyle presentation
are movement, rhythm, space and direction. The power of choreography
is in the combination of movements and how those movements are
developed with the music to create a design in space which is
The Definition of Freestyle is a guide in developing movement
phrases that become the basis for choreography. Phrases are combinations
of movements. Words such as athleticism, bond and flexibility
provide the incentive or motivation to develop phrases which
will maximize the dog's strengths and minimize his weaknesses.
A movement phrase is like a sentence. Develop phrases like a
paragraph containing one theme. The themes unite into the final
product, which in Freestyle is the total choreographic design.
Allow the structure of the music to guide the development of
movement, phrases and themes.
The bond between the dog and handler should be clearly apparent.
Both the dog and handler should be attentive and willing partners,
intangibly linked whether working together or apart. The dog
should always demonstrate enthusiasm, joy, willingness and rapport
with the handler. The handler's movement should be smooth, natural
and enhance the dog's movement. The total picture should be one
of harmonious balance.