Once you are ready to start competing, you can find details of
Heelwork to Music Competitions by emailing the Kennel Club to
request a list of Competition dates from the Canine Activities Team
(email). You could also download the list of Heelwork to Music
competitions in the next 12 months by clicking
Going to your first competition
- Once you have decided which shows you might like to attend,
contact the Secretary shown in the Show Diary to request a
- Check the classes for which you are eligible (if you are just
starting this will be Starters classes) - and send off the entry
form and your payment - watch out for the closing date
- Check on the requirements for your music - usually explained in
the schedule but if in doubt call the Secretary to check. Always
take a spare tape, CD, DVD etc in case of technical problems.
- On the day of the show, remember your props and costume, music,
the schedule and directions to the venue, your HTM Record Book and
any entry passes you have been sent. And your dog!
- Allow plenty of time; get ready early; chat to your fellow
competitors and watch their routines to learn useful tips and
What the Judges are looking for
To give you an idea of what you should include in your Heelwork
to Music or Freestyle routines, judges mark all Heelwork to Music
performances using the following criteria:
a. Programme Content - 10 marks
- The programme content conforms to the definitions for Heelwork
to Music or Freestyle and should be varied, with no excessive
repetition of movement, and content being appropriate to the
- Movement should be appropriate to the structure and
conformation of the dog.
- The movements of the dog should have a greater impact than
those of the handler.
- Degree of difficulty of movements should be taken into
b. Accuracy and Execution of Movement - 10 marks
- Movements including heelwork are accurately and smoothly
- The dog should work in a natural and willing manner.
- The dog should respond promptly and appropriately to the cues
given (including use of props).
- Bearing and deportment of the handler is appropriate and should
be appropriate to the routine; dog and handler should work as a
c. Musical Interpretation - 10 marks
- Interpretation of the rhythm, phrasing and timing should be
apparent; the choice of music should suit the team.
- Choreography should be apparent, flowing and not a series of
disjointed moves. The routine should include balance, structure and
making best use of available space.
- Primary emphasis of musical interpretation should be on the
dog's movements although the handler should/may be expressive.
- Handlers' dress and any props used should be suitable and
applicable to the interpretation of the routine.