Seeing some doggie dance moves it finds inappropriate, the Kennel Club in the UK is cracking down, outlawing some “extreme” and “unnatural” steps it says could injure dogs.
Effective next year, certain moves, though they haven’t been outlined yet, will be banned when it comes to dancing dogs – a pursuit that has become increasingly popular since Pudsey (above) appeared on and won “Britain’s Got Talent.”
“Heelwork to music,” as it’s called has been regulated by the Kennel Club since 2002. There are about 90 affiliated clubs that offer dog dancing events.
The Telegraph reports that the rule changes are in response to the rising number of people and dogs taking part in the activity after 16-year-old Ashleigh Butler and her dog wowed the judges on “Britain’s Got Talent.” There has been a 20 per cent increase in the activity since then, and the club is worried that, amid stiffer competition, too much might be demanded of performing dogs.
The Kennel Club has taken steps to ban moves that could injure dogs, as well as treatment it considers ”degrading” to the dogs, such as putting them in fancy costumes for performances. (Fancy costumes can still be worn by their human dance partners, though).
While no list of accepted and banned moves has been released yet, those that reportedly concern the Kennel Club include the “wheelbarrow,” where the dog’s hind legs are held by the owner as it walks; the “footstand,” where the dog stands on the raised feet of the handler while the human lies on the ground; walking on front paws; walking on hind legs for more than 10 seconds; and “shoulder jumps,” in which a dog leaps from the owner’s shoulders.
“We know that the more people we get into the sport, the more they are going to have to look to other types of moves in order to make an impact,” said Caroline Kisko, the club’s secretary. “We are trying to pre-empt that. The priority is the dog’s safety.”
Most dog shows feature two categories — “heelwork”, which is more structured, and “freestyle,” which involves more innovative tricks. The dances are scored on content, accuracy and musical interpretation.
The new regulations will formally take effect next year, when judges will disqualify any pair whose routine is deemed extreme, unnatural or degrading. Until then, the Kennel Club has asked competitors to observe them “in spirit … with immediate effect.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, ashleigh, ashleigh butler, britain's got talent, costumes, dancing, dancing dogs, dangerous, degrading, demeaning, dog, dogs, extreme, heelwork, injuries, kennel club, moves, performances, pets, pudsey, rules, tricks, uk, unnatural