Dog owners do a variety of activities with their furry friends. They play with them, talk to them, snuggle up next to them and walk them on a regular basis. These are all great ways to improve your relationship with your dog, bonding the two of you for many years to come. There's one activity, however, that many people wouldn't normally associate with their dogs: dancing. That's right, freestyle dog dancing is a very real and very beautiful sport that's taking the canine community by storm.
With origins dating to the early 1990s, dog dancing has actually been going on for quite a while. The Canine Freestyle Federation (CFF) was founded in 1995 and is still the world's oldest active organization for canine freestyle. Freestyle dog dancing is essentially highly choreographed tricks set to music. Trainers are part of the dance as well, guiding their pooch through the moves to ensure they hit all the right beats.
This video shows trainer Sandra Roth and her dog, Lizzy, as they compete in the 2014 Open European Championships. This routine has been viewed over six million times on YouTube for a good reason. If there is a single performance that highlights everything canine freestyle is about, it's this one. If you're interested in trying it out with your own dog, check out this great article about the history of the sport. All it takes to get started is a determined trainer, the right song and a canine who isn't afraid to dance.