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Saturday, July 26th, marks the 5th annual National Dance Day created by So You Think You Can Dance co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe! The nationally recognized holiday is an initiative that encourages everyone in America to come together through dance to promote dance education and physical fitness. This grassroots campaign encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity.
This year, Dogington Post is encouraging our readers to participate by dancing with their four-legged friends!
One of the most rewarding and enjoyable things you can do with your dog is put on your favorite music and boogie down to the beat together! Just get your furbaby to the dance floor, turn up the tunes, and prepare his treats. You will be surprised at how much fun it is – for both of you!
Training Fido to Get Down with the Beat
1. Begin by encouraging your pooch to move around to the sound of the music. Try to wave a treat above his head as you tempt him to get it. With this motion, your dog should start swaying, jumping, standing, singing, and generally having fun. Don’t forget to give your pet praises and treats for a dance performed well right at the end of the session.
2. Continue on dancing with your dog and providing him with his favorite treats. Constant repetition with the moves and steps while the music plays will introduce your dog the joy of dancing.
3. It’s easiest to teach your dog to dance once he’s already mastered the basics. Have him learn the sit, come, stay, and other fundamental commands so it will be easier for both of you to move on to dancing.
Tips and Tricks for Dancing with Your Dog
1. Remember to teach your dog one trick at a time. Don’t overwhelm him by teaching him too many things all at once. It would be best if you first ensure that your pooch understands completely and responds very well to certain commands before new ones are taught.
2. Pick a song that works well with the kind of tricks that your pet knows as well as the pace that he is capable of moving. Never tire your pooch, and always treat each session like playtime. Enjoying your time together and getting your feet (and paws!) moving is what counts.
3. Try choreographing the dance steps based on your dog’s trick repertoire and physical stamina. Too much attachment to fancy choreography should be avoided. Just be flexible and go with what actually works best for your pooch. Try practicing the choreography as often as possible, but ensure to always end it on a good note. In other words, instead of working out a fancy routine and trying to make your dog adhere to it, figure out which dance moves come easiest and most naturally, then choreograph or freestyle a dance that fits.
Teaching your Pooch to Dance in Circles
This relatively simple dance move is easy to teach, easy to learn, and will make your dog look like a professional dancer!
1. Start by holding a treat in your closed hand. Let your dog have a sniff, but don’t let him get the treat just yet. Do this by placing your hand near your pooch’s nose and then moving it up and away slowly until he stands up on his hind legs.
2. After he’s learned to stand on his hind legs, try to moving your hand around in big circle close to the dog’s nose. The idea is simply to get him follow the treat and then twirl in a circle. As your pooch whirls, say the command “dance” or “twirl”. Do not forget to reward him the moment he carries it out right.
Most Importantly, Have Fun and Get Moving!
The purpose of National Dance Day is to get our bodies moving, be active, have fun, and spread the message of dance and movement. Check out some great doggy dancers in the videos below – then let us know how you plan to celebrate Dance Day with your own dog!