National Shiba Club of America

Musical Freestyle

Musical freestyle is a relatively new sport that combines dog obedience and dance in a way that is totally unique and exciting. It blends dog obedience and dance presenting a visually exciting display of handler and canine teamwork. The handler and dog perform dance-oriented footwork in time to the music, rather than displaying the traditional walking pace of obedience. Heeling is an important component of freestyle but nonstandard movements are also expected to be displayed by the dog along with attention, enthusiasm, and a degree of difficulty over and above that which is normally seen in the obedience ring. A variety of handler upper body movements are also encouraged to lend interpretation to the music. Costuming for the handler also helps to enhance the interpretation of the music and to involve spectators in the spirit of the routine. Throughout the routine the handler may encourage the dog's performance with verbal commands, but no training aids or foods of any kind are permitted in the competition ring.