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Twinkle Paws: Foundations for Canine Musical Freestyle

The goal of this class is to build foundation behaviors for freestyle with an emphasis on movement and positioning in relation to the handler and using props in training. Dogs will learn foundational behaviors for canine musical freestyle and rally obedience, as well as basic behaviors that can be cultivated to meet the handler’s specific training goals.

Handlers will learn how to use structured shaping to train behaviors, how to use props in structured shaping, when and how to add cues for trained behaviors, and how to leverage the dog’s repertoire of behaviors to branch into new tricks and variations of known tricks.

Specific skills included in this class?

  • Focus

  • Holding position in a stand without sitting

  • Familiarization with the following positions in relation to the handler: front, left heel, right heel, and middle

  • Bow: front, left heel, right heel and “performance” bow.

  • Leash-walking while maintaining position beside the handler

  • Developing a familiarity and comfort with props in training

  • Circle left and right around the handler

  • Paws up (on a pivot platform, pedestal, or handler’s arm)

  • Pivoting hind legs with front paws on a pivot platform

  • Moving in reverse: in front of handler, in left heel, in right heel, and in middle.

  • Moving thru handlers legs and leg weaves

  • Spin into heel

Prerequisite: Dogs must be able to share space safely with other dogs and people. To fully train all behaviors covered in class, dogs must be able to work off-leash around other dogs.

Class Materials:

Because of this class's emphasis on using props in training, there is a class supplies list that students may either buy/make independently or purchase from Fuzzy Matters. The following materials are necessary to fully train all behaviors:

  • target stick (provided by Fuzzy Matters)

  • a set of two precision-placement platforms (DIY or available for purchase from Fuzzy Matters)

  • pivot platforms (purchase independently)

  • training gates (available for purchase from Fuzzy Matters)

  • journal for a training log and cue dictionary (provided by Fuzzy Matters)

  • optional, bonus props based on individual student’s area of interest (DIY or purchase independently)

Lisa kneels beside her dog bug, holding a treat in front of him.



Start Date

October 5th

Your Instructor

Laura Fennell

Laura Fennell
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