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  • 3 weeks later...

I just read this post and had to comment.

 

As someone who is very involved in doing Canine Musical Freestyle, my opinion is that this video is *not* cool or fantastic at all. For any dog, especially a large breed, to spend so much time on hind legs is not healthy. It can lead to damage in the hind legs and many problems and is highly discouraged by true freestyle practitioners. And the "costume" that the dog wears is really not appropriate; it is not dignified for the dog.

 

As a member of a canine musical freestyle club, I perform with my dog many times during the year in different venues. We never, ever dress our dogs in costumes or do anything which would be degrading to their dignity and integrity as dogs. We train them in moves that are healthy for them to do, and that display the unique relationship between human being and canine, not moves that make the dog pretend to be human, as in this video. If you want to see really good Canine Musical Freestyle, simply go to Youtube and type in "Carolyn Scott and Rookie" or "Sandra Davis", or "Richard Curtis", or "Mary Ray" , among others, who will give you a taste of what Freestyle is really all about. And it isn't what is shown in that video!

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That's just the dog and owner having some fun. The dog is not undignified at all. The owner has a similar dress as do the people behind that dog so why would only the dog be undignified??

 

People should be allowed to have fun with their dogs if the dogs are enjoying it too. That amount of time on the hind legs is fine, I'm sure the owner would stop if there is a problem. A dog that is trained like that does not have a owner that doesn't care about him/her.

 

Besides, have you heard of the dog called Faith that walk on her hind legs? Her legs and spine are still fine.

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While I thoroughly enjoyed the clip, as the dog seemed to be having fun, I too wondered about the length of time the dog was up on its hind legs. I suppose if she doesn't do it a lot it might not have lasting fallout.

 

As for the costume - I've known (and owned) dogs that LOVED to be dressed up. I had a GSD/collie mix once that liked nothing better. We used to dress her up and take her to the dog park, and she would go around to everyone there, twirling around until they fussed over her and then off to the next potential admirer. Some dogs HATE it. I would never subject them to it. For those dogs dignity may be an issue.

 

As for Faith, she doesn't have a choice. She has no front legs. And it's too early to tell if her bi-pedal existence will cause problems later. My guess is that it will. For those of you that don't know about Faith, here's a video.

Faith_the_Bi_pedal_dog.wmv

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That's just the dog and owner having some fun. The dog is not undignified at all. The owner has a similar dress as do the people behind that dog so why would only the dog be undignified??

 

Undignified is, in large part, quite subjective.

 

I would not put a dress like that on my dog for a public performance. I don't consider it respectful to the dignity of my dog.

 

That doesn't mean that I am judging people who do choose to put dresses like that on their dogs. To be honest, I don't care about it enough to make such a judgment. I know it is something that I would not do. I know it is something that I would not consider respectful toward my dog. But if someone else considers it appropriate, well . . . OK.

 

On the other hand, I do put decorative collars on my dogs. Some would consider that undignified. And that's fine. Sometimes I use Maddie's pink leash for my male dogs and I've gotten some interesting comments for it. I actually kind of laugh at those. I can usually defuse that by making a joke about the dog being "The Pink Panther" or something.

 

People should be allowed to have fun with their dogs if the dogs are enjoying it too. That amount of time on the hind legs is fine, I'm sure the owner would stop if there is a problem. A dog that is trained like that does not have a owner that doesn't care about him/her.

 

I don't think anyone was saying that one should not be allowed to do this with their dogs, simply that this is not technically "Freestyle". It's really not - as in "The Sport of Canine Musical Freestyle". There are some similarities and parallels, but I would not consider it to technically be "Freestyle". But then - I do consider "Freestyle" to be "The Sport of Canine Musical Freestyle".

 

As far as the hind leg work, that is debated among Freestylers. Are you familiar with Tina Humphrey? Her Chandi does a lot of hind leg work. She has taken some criticism for it on the internet. But I would say that the hind leg work that Chandi does is most appropriate and I am certain that she takes all necessary measures to keep her dog in shape to do that work.

 

Still, it can be overdone and one does need to be careful about it.

 

And I'll admit firsthand, sometimes it is easy to let the dog overdo. I've made that mistake at times. It can be tough to break off when the dog is having a great time. But sometimes it is the best thing to do for the dog so he or she doesn't feel it the next day!

 

Some say it's no good for any dog at any time. Some say only Border Collies and small dogs should do it! (Seriously!) Some hate it and some love it.

 

It's one of the many things you will find every opinion under the sun about. Especially on the internet!

 

:rolleyes::):D

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if you look the dog up more, she CHOOSES to walk on her hind legs, even when nobody has asked her to, and their is no reason whatsoever to do it, she chooses to walk on her hind legs. this isnt freestyle, its just a guy who love to train his dog to do lots of tricks, and chose to work with her desire to walk on her hind legs by teaching her people dances. this guy is not competeting with this dog in freestyle, dancing is just one of her tricks, and she has been doing it for years. the dress-dignity thing just makes me laugh lol like really? its a DOG! seriously, I sincerly doubt she is having a battle in her head about the dignity of wearing a dress :rolleyes: this dog is a ham, if it gets her attention, she loves it lol

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Edited! :rolleyes::D :D

 

Maybe dignity of the dog is a Freestyle thing. And it is very subjective.

 

There is a Freestyle move that is wildly popular among some where the dog stands up on his or her hind legs and puts his or her paws on the handler and the handler spins around. Now, a small dog is going to be placing his or her front paws on the handler's knee or thereabouts. Very cute.

 

When a Border Collie does this move . . . well, think about it. But people do it. I consider it undignified and I flatly refuse to teach it or perform it. Others think it's the best thing ever. Very subjective. If I told those people that I consider the move undignified, they would likely take offense, so I tend to keep that opinion to myself. But I still don't teach it or perform it with Border Collies.

 

When I say "dignity of the dog", I don't mean that I think the dog is somehow embarrassed. It is about the way that I relate to my dog and the message that the performance sends to other people about that relationship. Putting a dress on my dog would not convey that in the way that I want. I'm the human. I wear the dress. The dog is a dog. He wears a collar. That's just the way things are for me. Some female Freestylers love to dress up as men for their Freestyle routines. That doesn't reflect who I am, so I don't. I see it a lot like that.

 

A big part of Freestyle is the picture that the dog and handler create as a team during a performance for the audience. That's where the "dignity of the dog" idea comes from. It's not important to everyone, but it is to many of us. If we didn't care about the picture that we create, we probably wouldn't participate in a sport that is part sport, part art, and part entertainment. :D

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I just read this post and had to comment.

 

As someone who is very involved in doing Canine Musical Freestyle, my opinion is that this video is *not* cool or fantastic at all. For any dog, especially a large breed, to spend so much time on hind legs is not healthy. It can lead to damage in the hind legs and many problems and is highly discouraged by true freestyle practitioners. And the "costume" that the dog wears is really not appropriate; it is not dignified for the dog.

 

As a member of a canine musical freestyle club, I perform with my dog many times during the year in different venues. We never, ever dress our dogs in costumes or do anything which would be degrading to their dignity and integrity as dogs. We train them in moves that are healthy for them to do, and that display the unique relationship between human being and canine, not moves that make the dog pretend to be human, as in this video. If you want to see really good Canine Musical Freestyle, simply go to Youtube and type in "Carolyn Scott and Rookie" or "Sandra Davis", or "Richard Curtis", or "Mary Ray" , among others, who will give you a taste of what Freestyle is really all about. And it isn't what is shown in that video!

 

You have malnourished dogs, chained up dogs, abused dogs, and neglected dogs all over the world and you want to point a finger at this dog? Good grief.

 

The dog is obviously happy and well loved. I know dogs that jump 6 feet in the air to catch balls. Is this good for their bodies? Probably not, but it's hard to keep a dog from doing what it loves. If the dog enjoys dancing around on her hind legs for a few minutes, who cares.

 

Then you go on to say that the outfit is degrading to the dog. Honestly, I never dress my dogs, but who cares if someone does as long as the dog is happy and enjoying it. What is appropriate and "dignified" for the dog? Are you going to tell me that having a dog on a leash isn't "dignified"? And I should let my dog eat at the dinner table? Where do you draw the line? I'm curious.

 

The bottom line is quite simple. The dog is happy and apparently healthy. Who are you to say the guy doesn't have his dog's best interest in mind?

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Meh.

 

I could never in a million years get Buddy to walk on his hind legs. He will put his paws up on me on command, but wants to get down ASAP. Hind-leg walking or standing is not natural to him, nor is it fun for him. However - hide-and-seek with the stupid rawhide bone? He would play that game 24/7 if I wanted to. ::Shrug::

 

Obviously this dog likes to be up on her legs, hence the man's ability to train her to do all these things. I'd be willing to bet this man has never before had a dog he could train this way, and never will again, and that it never occurred to him a dog could do this until he met this dog.

 

Mary

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Is THIS undignified as well?

 

As halloween costumes, I consider all of those to be perfectly appropriate (of course that's me and such matters of taste are completely subjective). However, it would not be my choice to outfit my dog in a halloween costume to perform a Freestyle routine for the public. That would not properly express the message that I want to send the audience in a Freestyle routine. For me Freestyle is much more about the beauty of the dog's movement, expression, and the bond between dog and handler. A halloween costume, in my opinion, isn't related to any of that. A halloween costume is part of the enjoyment of halloween. Looks like everyone in that thread had a nice one with their dogs that year. :rolleyes:

 

Now I know some of you won't think there's a difference, but to me - and some other Freestylers - there is a big difference. I do lots of things with my dogs in other contexts that I consider perfectly appropriate in those contexts that I would consider to be undignified in the context of a Freestyle routine. Last night I put a towel on Dean's head and my husband and I laughed at the comical picture that he made. At home I don't consider that undignified in the least - he enjoyed the attention, we had fun with our dog, no problem. If I did the same thing in a Freestyle routine, though, I would consider it to be undignified (of course, a trick where he dives under a towel and flips it up onto his head might be a different thing altogether!). You can see where personal taste comes into play here. There are probably people who do Freestyle who would think wrapping a towel on the dog's head for a laugh during a routine would be the best thing ever. It definitely wouldn't be my choice, though.

 

And let me say also, for the record, that I am talking about the Sport of Freestyle, not the kind of demonstration that this guy is doing with his dog. In the Sport of Freestyle, costumes on the dog are not allowed. That's not a matter of taste or preference or what one considers to express the dignity of the dog. That's the rule in every venue currently in existence in the US. I could be wrong, but I don't believe they allow costumes on the dogs in Europe, either. Personally, I think this is a good rule. Maybe others hate it, but it is still the rule.

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So let me ask you this ...

 

The guy on the street doing a really cool doggie dancing thing with his dog that seems to be executed quite well and contains quite a few good technical elements as compared to a competition freestyler ... is that kind of like the difference between a stockdog trialer that competes on the circuit following all of the rules, and someone who owns stockdogs, uses them, and trains them well to perform, basically, the same end result without all the hoopla of clinics and lessons and entry fees and travel time, and technicalities of formal competition?

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So really perhaps all the up in arms, panties in a bunch, whatever comments to this topic are simply because Mary happened to use the word "freestyle" in her topic name? If she had labeled if "fun dancing dog" maybe no one would have been offended?

 

J.

 

I can't speak for those who who fall into those categories, since I'm not the least agitated or offended by this interesting discussion. :rolleyes:

 

But I would say that I do agree with those who do not consider what this guy is doing to be "Freestyle" (meaning Canine Musical Freestyle). I would say "Dancing Dog" is a more precise descriptor of what the guy is having his dog do. But remember, this is coming from someone who actually does Musical Freestyle.

 

To make it more confusing, some do call Musical Freestyle "Dog Dance". And yet some Freestylers vehemently object to that! I don't object and refer to Freestyle as "Dance" myself. Still, not all Freestyle is dance and not all "dog dance" is Freestyle, if you know what I mean.

 

Just to be clear, I was not bothered by Mary's use of the term "Freestyle", so Mary, don't think I'm getting on you about it. :D Your use of the term led to a discussion of what Freestyle actually is and I consider that to be a good thing. :D

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So let me ask you this ...

 

The guy on the street doing a really cool doggie dancing thing with his dog that seems to be executed quite well and contains quite a few good technical elements as compared to a competition freestyler ... is that kind of like the difference between a stockdog trialer that competes on the circuit following all of the rules, and someone who owns stockdogs, uses them, and trains them well to perform, basically, the same end result without all the hoopla of clinics and lessons and entry fees and travel time, and technicalities of formal competition?

 

It's hard to say.

 

Most competition Freestylers often do demonstrations, and often we will go outside the rules that would be in place for competition. For a demonstration, I might incorporate targeting, which is not allowed in the competition venue in which I compete (although targeting is done in Freestyle in the UK). I might use music of a length that would not be allowed in competition. I would definitely incorporate hand signals and food into a demo and both are not allowed in competition. And yet, I would still consider what I am doing to be Freestyle and - I know this for a fact - so would other competition Freestylers.

 

So, it's not so clear as that.

 

I'm going to use a different example from the guy to try to explain this further.

 

Say, I took a bunch of Agility equipment and choreographed a run to music and performed it. Even though I have choreographed and music is involved, I would not consider this to be "Freestyle". It could be a really cool performance that is highly entertaining, but it would not be Freestyle. Does that make sense?

 

Or, I could create a routine that incorporates Frisbee fetches. I can use the same moves that I might use in a Musical Freestyle routine, but I am now doing something different. Last year I had a cool conversation with someone who does Frisbee Freestyle who was at a Musical Freestyle competition and he was very struck by how different the two sports are. There is some overlap, but it is definitely not the same thing.

 

Going back to this guy, I would not say that the dress on the dog is the one and only thing that makes this type of performance something that I don't consider Freestyle. That's a piece of it, but it's not the whole thing. There are some things about the overall performance that makes it something very different. The way the dog is being handled, the types of movement that the dog is being asked to do, the way that the dog and handler interact throughout the performance, etc. (Just to be clear - I am not saying those things are "wrong" - just that they separate what this guy is doing from the Sport of Freestyle).

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What is the difference between what this guy is doing and "Canine Musical Freestyle"? They are both dancing with your dog to music, yes?

Jodi,

I think what the folks who actually do freestyle have been saying is what this guy and his dog do does not follow the rules of competition for the sport called "canine musical freestyle."

 

It would be like me taking a dressage horse and going out and putting my horse's moves to music--doing so doesn't automatically qualify as the musical freestyle seen in competition, which would have certain requirements for movements performed, length of performance, allowed or prohibited tack or other equipment (including the dress of the rider), etc.

 

In the broad sense of the term freestyle, what this guy is doing with his dog *is* freestyle. In the competition sense of the term freestyle, it is not.

 

J.

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What is the difference between what this guy is doing and "Canine Musical Freestyle"? They are both dancing with your dog to music, yes?

 

Is a dog taking a jump in an Obedience competition doing Agility? Even though the exact action of the dog is the same, there are differences between Obedience jumping and Agility jumping. So, it's not the same.

 

If someone sends a Lab into a round pen with sheep and train him to do an outrun, is he doing stockwork? Based on what I've read on the boards, it is my understanding that the Lab would not be doing the same thing that a trained stockdog would be doing.

 

Musical Freestyle is not just dancing with a dog to music. There are many ways in which a dog could dance to music that are not Freestyle. There are Freestyle routines where the dog and handler do not dance.

 

As I said above:

 

There are some things about the overall performance that makes it something very different. The way the dog is being handled, the types of movement that the dog is being asked to do, the way that the dog and handler interact throughout the performance, etc

 

I don't consider what this guy is doing to be Freestyle - competition or otherwise. There are some similarities, just as there are between Obedience jumping and Agility jumping. But I don't see it as the same thing at all.

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