Heelwork to Music is Obedience training with a twist! Your dog has to display its understanding and knowledge of training commands. However, this is done by incorporating its obedience skills within a choreographed routine, which has been devised by the handler, alongside a chosen piece of music.
Heelwork to Music requires many dog training skills and those taking part usually have had backgrounds in other training activities, although this is certainly not a prerequisite for Heelwork to Music.
Competitors are judged over three sections; Programme Content, Accuracy and Execution of Movement and Musical Interpretation, each allocated a maximum of 10 marks. Events are held around the country, usually starting with classes for beginners up to advanced.
Heelwork to Music is broken down into two official categories, Heelwork to Music and Freestyle. Each category has equal status, and the following class structure applies to both categories:
a. Heelwork to Music
The principal element of the Heelwork to Music category will be the dog working off lead in the heel work position, on the left or right hand side of the handler, facing forward or backward, across the front or back of the handler, moving in any direction, at any pace. The dog's shoulder should be approximately level with, and reasonably close to the handler's leg. All other positions are defined as Freestyle. A minimum of two thirds of the routine should consist of heel work.
A Freestyle routine will be the dog working off lead and contain movements in any position. Heel work as described above is acceptable although such movements must not exceed one third of the routine.
For more information about how to get started in Heelwork to Music, click here.