Hall of Fame

The “Best of the Best” in CanineFreestyle DogWork®

Selection to the Federation’s Hall of Fame is based on the team’s contributions to:

  • Promote CanineFreestyle DogWork® as a training technique
  • Participate and invite others to compete in the disciplines in the Sport of Dogs.
  • Illustrate the oneness training brings to canine and human teams
  • Artistically express and celebrate the joy of working and training as a team to others
  • Fulfill “in a creative and artistic manner” the defined objective of Canine Freestyle

Federation members in good standing nominate individual teams for induction to the Federation’s Hall of Fame.  Each nomination sent to the Directors must be accompanied by a detailed description of how the team has fulfilled the listed qualifications.  Induction is dependent upon a positive vote of the Federation Board.

Betty Swenson and Vickie (2019)

Vickie is the third of Betty’s Border Collies to be honored in the Hall of Fame. Vickie had no socialization off the farm when she had the good fortune to become Betty’s partner at 14 months. On lead for the first time, she started FreeStyle DogWork® and began making her way through the levels. At the same time they were trialing toward the AHBA Herding Champion title. At seven years Vickie’s hearing failed as a result of a genetic issue in BCs. This led to tracking, where deafness is not a handicap. A TDX joined the titles. Perhaps a Variable Surface Title is in her future?

As Vickie’s hearing failed, DogWork became ever harder. Betty, after struggling for over a year, “finally gave up all control and let her do what SHE wanted.” Listening to the dog is the essence of DogWork, but it takes a brave and dedicated person to do so when the dog can’t listen back!

Congratulations to Betty and Vickie as this amazing team takes its well-deserved place in the CFF Hall of Fame.


Leonor Kasten with Kenro’s Zesty Ziva David (2016)

Ziva,” the Giant Schnauzer is known for her power and enthusiasm in working with her partner, Lee.  Ziva’s beauty and imposing stature in comparison to her diminutive handler’s size further emphasizes the presence she commands in the performance space.  Their energy is beautifully balanced and controlled through pace changes, leaps, spins, free circles, always drawing the audience in and keeping them spellbound in anticipation of what will happen next.  This team’s work as individual exhibitors and as members of a Champion team with Marilyn Hulme and her Beagle Rosie are examples of Ziva’s versatility, temperament and trainability.  Ziva loves to work and her drive and devotion to pleasing her handler give us a perfect picture of teamwork, oneness and joy.

Marian Hardy and Ping (2015)

Ping’s attribute is unique; no other dog involved in Canine Freestyle has his particular talent.  His moments of glory are unique and extraordinary: his mighty bark and intimidating eye keeps everyone in line and on task; he has the distinct honor of being asked to leave a Starbucks—apparently in playing his role of stuffed animal in Marian’s tote, he moved at the wrong time; he walks to his own beat; he is a creative genius with impeccable timing; dynamically, he draws an entire room of spectators under his spell—a spectator at one event commented on his ability to dynamically focus shapes at the right moment. He knows the music and is always there at the right time.  Out of nowhere, he bounds forward and drives towards Marian to complete the oneness of the shape expressing the delight and joy they have working and training as a team; He fills not only the Presentation space with his dynamic energy but the entire room.

His inclusion in the Hall of Fame is the result of his delightful lightheartedness and their joy in working and training in DogWork. His ability to draw and maintain spectators’ interest in the magic of DogWork is uncanny. There is no mistaking the oneness of this team or the joy they have in working and training together.

Janet McBrien with Datawelsh Everlasting Cash (2015)

Datawelsh Everlasting Cash, better known to our freestyle spectators as Nicholas, an extraordinary canine, an inventive and clever super dog.  As Janet’s team mate they crafted choreography to showcase his best attributes.  As a brace, team and single Presentation, Janet and Nicholas imaginatively explored the creative and artistic possibilities through 4 levels of training and competition .  Each presentation a joyful expression of the team’s oneness with music and movement illustrating the team’s training and relationship artistically and creatively.

Nicolas and Janet were a perfect match; their dynamic energy, expressed imaginatively, clarified the why of training.  Each Presentation, a joyful celebration, artistically expressed as the oneness DogWork brings to each team’s training.  Theirs was an awesome training journey to behold.   Nicholas was an inspiration and a challenge.  To meet this team’s creative and artistic potential tested my conceptual designed training program.  Planning a lesson became a creative challenge and stretched everyone involved.  As a result of the challenge, everyone grew technically, artistically and creatively.  Thank you Nicolas and Janet, you have moved CanineFreestyle DogWork® a giant step forward as a training technique and a competitive sport.