Creating A Sport

by Joan Tennille, Founder Canine Freestyle Federation

It has been 20 plus years since I choreographed the original Presentations to illustrate a new discipline, in the Sport of Dogs. My objective, then and now, is to showcase the team's training and the resulting team relationship. To develop a program where learning is a joyful surprise and the fun is finding the pearls to communicate and share with others. Something designed for all dogs and their human companions. Both the training program and the competition have successfully stood the test of time. Each Presentation, illustrates the dog's training, artistically and creatively as a team and expressed joyfully as work. Each test is crafted by the team with music chosen to rhythmically focus on the dog's movement enhanced by the human's movement. The objective of each Presentation is to showcase the dog to his best advantage and to express the delight the team has in working and training as one. Performance vehicles are unique; their artistic expression is like a non-verbal language, making movement talk. It's all about the dog, his training journey and the amazing relationship that training brings to the team's relationship. Spectators are enthralled by the dynamic sharing of each team's journey. Each Presentation is their celebration of discovering the joyful oneness of working as a team.

Photo: The Dog Sport Photographers

Each level of training develops 4 skills to produce dog work. Teams train movements technically, artistically and creatively.   Albert Einstein said, " Creativity is intelligence having fun." CanineFreestyle DogWork® is that kind of fun as you both learn to conceptually execute movement technically, transform it artistically in Performance, to craft movement and music creatively and to stretch dog training in a creative and artistic manner as a team. To be a team means to honor and respect each other; to share equally understanding neither of you can do this alone. To trust each other to be 1/2 of a single entity. Creating a single shape, each 1/2 of a whole shape.To move as one, trusting and sharing the work responsibly. It is the oneness of team expressed technically, artistically and creatively. Each team, a constantly changing shape, moving in and through the 40' feet x 50' feet Presentation Space, sharing the team's story with involved spectators. The Opening shape, an invitation, to join mentally and kinesthetically to experience the unique joy of the performing team. Each dynamic moment shares and celebrates dog work. The smooth flow of movement and music gives continuity to their delightful story.   In a brief moment draws the Presentation draws to and end and you the spectator has the perception of being part of a special moment in time. The fun, of DogWork®, is in the doing, training, creating, and sharing; it is in the unity of the performance and the images/shapes expressing oneness. This is the joy of CanineFreestyle DogWork®.

Yes, learning is fun and also hard. In the film "A League of their Own" Tom Hanks tells one of his players to stop crying because the work is too hard. "If it wasn't hard no one would do it." Dogs love to work and train particularly when we share and reward positively. The Canine Freestyle Federation and its members want to help you discover the fun of DogWork®, where every dog is a star. We love to share. Read and ask we are here to help. More next time.

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