Paws N Music

I have competed in Paws N Music for the last few years.

Heres some videos or routines:

For those interested in Paws N Music heres some information
  • What is Paws N Music?
  • Routines and Judging
  • How to create a routine
Step 1 - Find some music

You need to consider several things. 
 - Is it a song you actually like? You are going to be hearing ALOT of it!
 - Is it a song thats easy to theme to? this makes choreographying a routine lots easier. 
 - Is it a song that has changes of pace e.g. very different sounding verses and chorus?
 - Is it a pace that you can comfortably walk/trot/run to? Ideally you should be able to do several different paces in the music
 - Does it suit your dog? E.g. not techno for a big slow New Foundland!

Then you need to edit your music - ideally a routine should be 2  - 2.5 minutes. You can have a go at this yourself (there is free editing software called Audacity available) or pay someone else to do it for you. If you have a Mac you should have software called Garageband you can use to do this. 

Step 2 - General outline of the story of the routine

Sit down and listen to the edited music. Is there natural breaks in the song? How many? Think about how many sections the music breaks into, and if there are any word cues you would like to build around e.g. In the song by Van Halen 'Jump' Brody and I did multiple jumps in the chorus whenever he said 'jump'

If there are no natural breaks, think about creating a clear start, middle and end. You want to break the routine into distinctive parts that tell a story. 

Generally the start should be spectacular, something different and low key in the middle, and build up to a spectacular ending. 

Step 3 - Specific tricks and sequences

Now you need to work out the specific choreography in each part. Start with the beginning section, and write down some ideas. Then get up and have a go to see if they work - do this BY YOURSELF not with the dog, then have a go with the dog. 

Work on small sections, and piece them together. Try hard not to practice the whole routine every session, instead focus on small sections. 

Also consider the ring layout, and the direction you are facing. I draw every routine out on a piece of paper and look at how I use the space. I also always plan the 'front' and try to direct myself towards the front throughout the routine. This helps prevent you from getting disorientated, and also stops you poking your bum at the judges / audience! 

Step 4 - Practice and demonstrations

You need to practice, obviously! Really good ideas to gain confidence / look at your routines critically include: 
 - get another person (you trust!) to watch
 - film it so you can watch yourself and the dog
 - Do a demo at your club
 - Volunteer for demonstrations at events like pet shop fun days, wag N walk etc. 

Its up to you if you try to phase out food during training, or keep feeding constantly and hope your dog dosent notice being feed in the competition - this depends on your dog!

Step 5 - Final adjustments

Step 6 - The competition