Whilst Dances with Dogs is a relatively new and somewhat unknown sport in Australia its popularity worldwide is increasing every year. It’s a fun and creative activity that you can do with your dog that really strengthens the bond between you. Come with me on a journey around the world as I meet some other people just like me, people who love dancing with their dogs!
First up is Tristan Underwood from Canada. Tristan has been training and showing dogs since he started walking and started competing at age 7. He currently teaches basic and advanced obedience, and Freestyle classes at Underwood’s Dog Obedience with his father, Ray Underwood. Tristan is also an avid kite flyer and appeared on Canada’s Got Talent in 2012.
How did you first hear about Dances with Dogs? What made you want to start and how did you get involved?
My family were apart of the original committee that founded the sport about 25 years ago here in Canada. Being born into the sport, I began training at 6 years old with my mother’s Shetland Sheepdog and entered my first competition at the age of 7.
What is the Dances with Dogs community like in Canada?
Freestyle is known to be a very artistic sport here in North America. Each routine tells a story through either a dance, skit, or combination of both. Each team has their own style and specialized skills.
Do you think that your country brings something unique to the sport?
Canada brings an amount of artistry that differs from everywhere else in the world. I am currently working on a new act, the dog animator, which will be making its debut in the near future.
What is your favourite thing about Dances with Dogs? Why?
My favorite thing is the challenge of always coming up with something new, innovative, and modern.
Tell us about your dancing dog.
Right now, I am currently dancing with my 2-year-old Shoreland Border Collie, Magic. Her and I will be representing Canada at the International Freestyle Competition at Crufts 2015.
What is Magic’s favourite trick?
Magic’s favourite trick has to be rapidly spinning on the spot. It’s her favourite move and always gets her revved up and ready to work.
Do you feel that Dances with Dogs has strengthened your bond with your dog? How?
Of course. The bond is everything when it comes to training. Your dog has to learn to trust and love its handler more than anyone in this world. For me, seeing someone who has a tremendous bond with their dog is a beauty to the eye.