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Dogdancing: Yes it's a Competitive Sport

Photo via
Photo via

Don’t you get a kick out of those videos featuring dancing dogs? While searching for a particular clip, I stumbled upon a video of the Dogdancing World Championship Finals in Saltzburg, Austria from last year. It turns out that dog dancing is a serious competitive activity. The biggest competitions I found are held in Europe and the United States. There are many organizations and kennel clubs that teach the sport.

To the uninitiated dog dancing probably looks silly. It's not as straight up entertaining as say a dog shimmying the mambo or dancing to merengue with her owner. In dog dancing, dogs spin in circles, walk on their hindlegs or crawl around to music with their owners who are usually dressed in costume.

There is a reason for this. These movements are how the dogs are scored. The music and presentation are part of the package too. As the U.K.’s Telegraph explains, the routines need to fall into two categories:

  • “Heelwork to music involves the handler getting their dog to move between eight positions in front, behind and at their side, and this must make up at least two thirds of the routine.
  • Freestyle – also uses the positions but combines more tricks, including jumps, spins and turns – which must make up two thirds.”

Kath Hardman from Top Lodge Dancing Dog explains the movements in the below video.

Check out the World Dogdancing Championships finals from 2012 and take a guess at who won? What do you think of dogdancing?