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Zen and I competed in Level IIA at the recent Canine Freestyle Federation (CFF) titling event in Virginia. We have trained so hard for this! CFF is not like the costumy type of canine freestyle you may have seen. The focus (and scoring) is on the dog, training, the connection between dog/handler, choreography, and the many concepts taught in the sport. I love the challenge involved and the support of others in this sport. We skipped Level I which is on leash and the only level you can skip as an untitled competitor, so this was our first competiton. We got a 2nd place on the first day of the 2-day event and I was thrilled because there were 8 other incredible teams in IIA and an extremely tough pair of judges. In fact, no one titled in Level IIA or IIB!! We missed titling by 2.5 points (a title requires 65/100 possible points and you earn points rather than lose points in scoring). Hardly anyone earns more than 75 points until you get into Level IV. I thought for sure we would title the next day but I was very sick and could not compete so we'll try again at this level in April at the Tennessee retreat and titling event. Hope you enjoy the photos. For some awesome videos. visit the CFF website at Membership.

P.S. Zen is the only Doberman in CFF (until I start with Bella anyway)!

































 

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Awesome photos! How do you train your dogs to begin learning these steps??
Thanks!!

I started our training from lots of books and videos about clicker training. I train all new behaviors with a clicker because it is SO easy and so much fun for me and the dog. Then we took basic obedience classes, rally classes, Therapy Dog classes, and did lots of training at home. We competed in Rally, mostly so I could get over my performance anxiety, but after the 1st level titles it got kind of boring. Luckily, a member of my local CFF guild teaches a fantastic off leash healing class at a canine rescue organization near me. I took it and was hooked on the way of working with my dog that she teaches (the emphasis on the energy connection of the dog/handler team, subtle body signals and energy exchange between dog/handler, engaging the dog so that it wants to work with you more than anything else, etc.). Fascinating stuff!

Where do you live? There may be a CFF guild near you and all guilds have meetings/classes on a regular basis.
 

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Congrats! I just love Zen.
 
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Thanks!!

I started our training from lots of books and videos about clicker training. I train all new behaviors with a clicker because it is SO easy and so much fun for me and the dog. Then we took basic obedience classes, rally classes, Therapy Dog classes, and did lots of training at home. We competed in Rally, mostly so I could get over my performance anxiety, but after the 1st level titles it got kind of boring. Luckily, a member of my local CFF guild teaches a fantastic off leash healing class at a canine rescue organization near me. I took it and was hooked on the way of working with my dog that she teaches (the emphasis on the energy connection of the dog/handler team, subtle body signals and energy exchange between dog/handler, engaging the dog so that it wants to work with you more than anything else, etc.). Fascinating stuff!

Where do you live? There may be a CFF guild near you and all guilds have meetings/classes on a regular basis.
I live in Toronto, Canada, and I'm trying to find new and different things for Chase to try during the winter months, and if something really interests him, why not keep doing it?

I've seen this on TV, and I never even tried to find a place that can get you started, mainly because it looks so difficult to do.
 

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Jalyn Live in the Moment ‘Helo Agathon’ Harper x Godric DOB 3/4/2019
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Nice pictures, looks like a lot of fun. :)
 
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Zen sure loves his Mama...judging from the very nice photos...that's, what is conveyed.
- the 1st one with his tongue sticking out...awe so cute
 

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Very cool and congrats on being the first dobe team! It looks like he is enjoying it!

Where in VA was the event? I wish I could've gone and watched!
 
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Those are beautiful shots. Your hard work shows. Do you have this in video?
 
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Discussion Starter #13
I live in Toronto, Canada, and I'm trying to find new and different things for Chase to try during the winter months, and if something really interests him, why not keep doing it?

I've seen this on TV, and I never even tried to find a place that can get you started, mainly because it looks so difficult to do.
NOT difficult but does take devotion to training as with any sport. You can start with Rally Obedience which is very easy to get into and a wonderful way to bond with your dog.
 

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Very cool and congrats on being the first dobe team! It looks like he is enjoying it!

Where in VA was the event? I wish I could've gone and watched!
Thanks - it was in Stafford, VA and will be there again in Nov. 2013. Will be in Tennessee in April, 2012 and Durham, NC in Nov. 2012. It is well worth coming to a titling event - you will be very moved by it.
 

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I don't know if its the same thing, but if you search for Honey the Great Dane on youtube they do freestyle. Might be a little more "flashy" than the CFF, but I LOVE it. I secretly dance with my dogs during cleaning breaks on the weekends. :p

Edited to add: Ok maybe it looks more like this (with me dancing and Donko like "huh!?") but, hey its a start right? LOL
Honey and her Human: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJNbqeMJ3YE&feature=related
 

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Wow that's awesome! So what's your music :) Would love to see a video. Congrats on your placing.
Music was "Celebration" from John Adorney's album entitled Beckoning. We pick the music for the dog - the dog has to really like it and it has to be a similar rhythm to the dog at a good trot. Also don't use music with vocals usually as that is too distracting.

I don't think I can post the video without breaking copyright on it - it is the whole weekend event and is professionally produced/sold by CFF to support this non-profit organization (dues and entry fees are super low in comparison to other sports). I'll hopefully have a good video from a competition practice run-through that I can post next year in the spring. I finally got a video camera - YAY!
 
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