Canine Freestyle FAQ’s

What is Canine Freestyle?
Started in Canada in the late 1980ʻs, Musical Canine Freestyle or Canine Freestyle is simply dancing with your dog to music. The inspiration for canine freestyle came from the musical kur in equine dressage.
Freestyle is a fun sport for owner and dog alike and audiences love it. Freestyle allows you to bring creativity, athleticism, style, artistry and traditional dog obedience together under a musical theme. There are two main categories: Musical Freestyle -- anything goes as long as it does not endanger the dog or handler; and Heelwork-to-Music requiring more close-in precise heelwork where distance work, jumps, weaves, or tricks are forbidden, although spins are permitted.

Freestyle Organizations
There are primarily 3 governing bodies in the United States: World Canine Freestyle Organization, Canine Freestyle Federation and Musical Dog Sport Association. Routines can be performed live at freestyle competitions or submitted by videotape and competition is open to both purebred and mixed breed dogs.

What skills do my dog and I need to begin canine freestyle classes?
It's a good idea to have on-leash and off-leash heeling skills and good attention from your dog. While being able to work on both sides of your body would be a help, it is something with which you and your dog will become proficient in freestyle class. Your dog should feel comfortable working in close proximity to another dog and handler team.

How do I get started in canine freestyle?
DTCCC currently offers two levels of freestyle classes, starting with our Intro to Freestyle class. Since establishing reliability with the basic moves, keeping time to music and developing awareness of other teams working simultaneously during the class is necessary, it is required that participants take this class twice before attempting the more advanced class. Our Beyond Beginner Freestyle class works on group choreography as well as individual routines.

Freestyle Classes

Classes listed below are SIX WEEK SESSIONS..
Non mmeber Fee $169.  Discounted fee for training members
Please check our SCHEDULE for availability and registration.

Intro to Freestyle: For those new to Freestyle. Learn basic positions and moves used to dance with your dog; learn how to keep time and use music to move around the ring. Sharpens your dog's attention and focus for any obedience work in a fun, playful way. Prerequisite: DSFUNdamentals, Your Training Toolbox and Heavenly Heeling 1,2 and 3. You should be comfortable working with your dog off leash. Dogs must be dog and people friendly.

Beyond Beginner Freestyle: Here is where we begin to put it together. Class will work on getting behaviors on verbal cue, getting rid of lures, making sure that your dog partner knows his positions (for example, can your dog find heel position no matter where your body goes?). You'll keep working on putting sequences together and working them into music. Prerequisite: Two Intro to Freestyle classes and at least Novice/Rally level heeling skills; dog is comfortable and able to work off-leash with other dogs.

Canine Freeestyle Competition: Canine Freestyle is simply trick behaviors to music. It is a fun sport for the handlers and dog teams, as well as the audience. Freestyle is based on basic obedience training and it adds other dimensions such as tricks, music, timing, costuming, routine development and showmanship.
Each week dogs and handlers will learn and practice new tricks or moves and have fun training to different music. Handlers will learn to develop simple routines and put them together with music.
This will class will concentrate on building foundation skills by working on many great engagement games, learning about food delay, backchaining behaviors, and improving transitions between moves. In addition, we’ll work on teaching you how to choreograph your routines. We will also work on attention and enthusiasm around distractions.
Attendees should complete Intro to freestyle or its equivalent before taking this class.

Rally-Free: is a new sport combining the behaviors of Musical Freestyle with the structure of Rally-O. Is this for you? The answer is “yes” if you:
•enjoy teaching your dog tricks and novel behaviors
•look to achieve precision in obedience skills
•love the idea of freestyle, but have trouble creating a routine

Rally Free allows you and your dog to have the fun and challenge of canine freestyle without the pressure of creating a dance routine. In addition, competition can be done via video if the “competition” environment makes you nervous. Participation in Rally-Free celebrates the training relationship we create with our dogs.
Prerequisites: Heavenly Heeling 1 and 2 and 3.
Intro to Rally-O would be helpful, but not necessary and your dog should be able to work comfortably around other dogs.


Questions? Contact us at or call 610-280-6960

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