Kooikers & Freestyle

Kooikerhondjes are adaptable dogs and they loved to be trained. From Agility, Flyball, Luring Ducks and SAR, there seems to be nothing the Kooiker cannot do… not even Freestyle.  Photos (courtesy of Nathalie Staerner)

Canine Freestyle

Description below from Wikipedia:

Canine Freestyle is a choreographed performance organized with music, illustrating the training and joyful relationship of a dog and handler team. Freestyle is an excellent discipline to illustrate the conformation and movement of the dog. The reach, drive and beauty of an athletic, trained dog moving to music can take one’s breath away.
Currently, there are several organizations regulating competitive freestyle, such as theWorld Canine Freestyle Organization, Canine Freestyle Federation, and the Musical Dog Sport Association in the United States, Paws 2 Dance Canine Freestyle Organization in Canada, Canine Freestyle GB in Great Britain, and Pawfect K9 Freestyle Club in Japan. In the UK, the sport is called Heelwork to Music and is an officially recognized sport of the Kennel club.

Competition rules vary from group to group, and from country to country, but most are based on a variety of technical and artistic merit points. All routines are done free of training aids or leashes, except in some beginner categories. Competition can be done as a single dog-and-handler team, as a pair of dogs and handlers, or as a full team of three or more dogs and their handlers. Generally, there is only one dog per handler for competition.

In either type of competition, the choice of music and the way the routine reflects the music is important. Routines not following the rhythm, no matter how well executed, do not score well.