Dancing With My Doggie Star

I am very proud to present Shiva the Dog’s dancing debut!

 

Thanks go to Hsin-Yi and Honey the Great Dane for creating a contest that inspired amateurs like Shiva and I to challenge ourselves.

Honestly? Putting this together was a lot harder than I expected. Shiva has a very large roster of tricks. I thought it would be easy to string them all together in time to some music. After all, we do it all the time without music, right? Simple stuff for a high-drive dog like Shiva.

Notsomuch.

Let me tell you, this canine freestyle thing is not for the easily frustrated. We filmed three full videos and about a twenty-six thousand pieces of video. None of them were what I envisioned. There were brilliant moments and there were moments where I wanted to bang my head against the wall. I wish I could have cut and pasted specific elements together and deleted others. But it’s a contest and that would be cheating.

Choosing which one to enter was not easy. I think I watched each one five or six times last night. It was so hard not to just keep filming until we got it right. For a recovering perfectionist, it wasn’t easy to stop. But Shiva was done. I knew if I pushed her I’d risk the value she has for working with me. I’m tempted to share the other two here but that may be devolving a bit too much into a pool of narcissism. I ended up going with the one in which I think she looks the happiest.

Though I found putting a routine together very difficult, mentally and physically, it was still a lot of fun. I’d definitely be interested in trying again. Maybe with a little more space, maybe putting a little less pressure on the two of us, maybe with a little more practice time. Even when Shiva was driving me crazy – jumping on me and running off to chew her antler – she still made me laugh. I think I’ve learned more about my own limits as well as hers. I have to acknowledge how lucky I am she is willing to work with me at all.

Gotta love that goofy dog. I truly feel I was dancing with a doggie star.

Make sure to check out all the other entries. They should be posted on Honey’s blog by tomorrow. Our rainy weekend will be a perfect excuse to stay inside and watch some impressive moves. Lots of luck to those who also entered!

48 thoughts on “Dancing With My Doggie Star

  1. you make my little video of barking Luna look juvinile after this. Great job!! I would never even attempt this as I can not dance on my own, let alone with my dog. But it looks like a great outlet for you and Shiva, and she listens to words well. That’s where I think Luna would have issues, she likes to just throw behaviors at me rather than listen (I have told you that before probably) Anyway, great job I hope to see more of these from you.
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

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    • Shiva likes to do that too, she easily gets over-stimulated and it can be very hard to get her to focus, see: every post on agility I have ever written. At home it’s a little easier. But it still was a challenge. I had to find a balance between rewards and activity. You didn’t see the outtakes. 😛

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      • yeah, working with Luna is an art form when it comes to tricks. Agility may be a little easier as she is moving. Being stationary is what’s hard. I still laugh when I watch handlers work her in the show ring and she barks at them due to getting too worked up and not wanting to be patient anymore. You should post some outtakes. I am gonna put a barking video soon, and may even put up an outtake though it’s more funny against Luna than me.
        A

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        • I admit, I deleted most of the outtakes. A lot of them consisted of the beginning of the routine. She kept getting up as soon as I lay down beside her. It was driving me nuts! And then at one point she decided she was bored with my weirdness and wandered off to drink from her water bowl. Then there was the knocking over of the camera… This dog training thing is not for the weak!

          I can’t wait to see your barking video!

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  2. You guys ROCK! I loved it when she jumped so high she almost got out of camera range 🙂

    Do you think our dogs think we’re nuts?

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  3. That looked terrific! And it was a very ambitious routine–two minutes of tricks is quite a bit.

    But even with all that star power, my favorite part was the matching costumes! Very nice touch.

    Good luck in the competition!

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    • I had no idea how long it would take. It seemed pretty short on paper. We didn’t even get two-thirds of it done! Oh well.

      Thanks for all of your kindness. I don’t care about winning. At this point, I am just amazed I actually put myself out there.

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  4. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! We are very impressed!! If I were to start dancing in front of Pauley, he would go nutso!! Watching Shiva’s videos is what pushed me to get Pauley into training 🙂 Good job!

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    • That is such a kind thing to say. I am so glad I could help inspire you. Pauley is such a fun dog, a natural, no doubt. He is sure to impress in no time!

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  5. Wow, two dancing stars are born!!! I love it, both of you did so well.

    It seems I should start trying to do a little dance with Eva too, it might be lots of fun!

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    • You absolutely should! Eva is such a talent. I bet the two of you would be amazing together! Do it! Do it! Do it!

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  6. I have a long history of lovingly teasing my friend who competes in freestyle dancing… i will refrain.

    What i absolutely love is how happy Shiva is when you work with her. She is just loving the chance to get to work (even if it IS silly [okay a little teasing]).

    Well done guys!!

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    • It’s okay, tease away. It is kind of silly. But I think that’s the point. I like the ridiculousness of it all. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind encouragement!

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  7. we loved the choreography and the costumes. Mostly we loved that you loved what you were doing. That is always the most important thing in life.

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  8. OMG you guys are too cute! Love the matching scarves and the big finish. 🙂 And I love that her tail was wagging the ENTIRE time – she’s so eager to please! (And get treats!)

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    • That’s one of the reasons I chose this one as our official entry. Her wagging tail and open smile are sure to make others feel just as happy. 🙂

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  9. That video was great, and even if you didn’t think it was perfect, I still enjoyed it a lot and I didn’t think it looked like it wasn’t perfect! I was grinning at Shiva the whole time! I loved that moment when she got the scarf on her foot and pranced around with extra flair, and then when you took it off, there for a second, I thought she’d leap over the back of the couch after it, but she stayed with you! You did an awesome job!

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    • Heh, I wasn’t going to take it off, that was actually an accident. I noticed it unravelling and I didn’t want her to trip on it or get freaked out so I decided to take it off, working it into the routine. 😛 I don’t know if it worked but oh well!

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  10. Love it! Congrats to you and Shiva on a job well done. She does look happy and excited to be working with you. Kudos to you for knowing your own dog and realizing when she had enough. I swear sometimes in competition, I see an owner push their dog way further than they should and I wonder where the fun is in that.

    I will have to go check out the other videos. Thank you for sharing!

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  11. Nicely done! You were very clever with the moves! And I have to agree with Sara, Jet, cate, and houndstooth here, Shiva’s leaps are to die for! She’s like a little bunny. 🙂

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  12. Gosh, I love that! Shiva never ceases to surprise me…I don’t think there is anything that girl can’t do. And I’d say the same about you. You two, girls, are a strong team.
    I don’t know about your other 20 million videos, but Shiva does look happy in this one… Good luck with the competition. x

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  14. Great job. All this dancing talk inspired me to try something with Katy and it was fun. No video, but it is the first time she has been willing to participate in anything like this. It was fun.

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    • Yay! That’s fantastic. Some days, when the man is out of the house and there is music playing, I will just start randomly dancing with her, see what moves we can come up with. It’s a lot of fun, isn’t it?

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  15. Lol, it’s not easy is it:) I’m just starting to watch the other videos (you guys first;) and I’m smiling already. You guys had so much fun and girl, you CAN dance! Loved your costumes and moves and the music.

    Well, I’ve got a busy afternoon ahead, nearly 30 more videos to go, wow! What a great competition it’s been:) And lots of fun.

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    • Heh, I don’t know about that. I tried not to worry about looking goofy and just did my thing. Dancing in front of people is hard. Back when I was into belly dancing, it was my least favourite part. Luckily it was only a camera. I am not so sure I am ready to do it in front of an actual crowd!

      It was a lot of fun. I’ve watched four or five videos now, includiing yours, and it’s impossible not to smile the whole time. Everyone had such unique styles.

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  16. Hello Shiva,

    It’s nice to meet a fellow doggie dancer although you are much better than I am. Thanks for visiting me via Honey’s dancing competion. You are a wonderful dancer and boy I’m tired from just watching you…you sure are quite bouncy compared to me. GREAT JOB! I hope to visit you more now that I’ve met you.

    AARF Kasha the Dainty Great Dane

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  17. What you say is so true! This competition is a reminder to us all not to be perfectionists – and why? Because the dogs don’t care! They just want to have fun. And have treats, of course.

    I was like you. I filmed about five times, and suddenly realised I had to stop right there, because I was in danger of forgetting I was doing it so Penny could have fun.

    I like your routine. It makes me feel good to see it. And I love the scarves you were both wearing. You sure had a lot of interesting moves.

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