Every routine pictured here was set to music, but the best music of the day was this song:
Please feel free, if you wish, to play the song as you scroll down through the pictures.
These pictures were taken during the Freestyle portion of the disc dog event. There were only 7 competitors in this event, compared to (I think) 16 in Distance/Accuracy.
Freestyle is a set routine that you make with your dog, much like Canine Freestyle (also known as doggie dancing), only with discs added in.
Routines are scored based on a number of factors.
The competitors all came together in a group to decide who they thought should win the freestyle event.
Some of the things factored in were how well received the routine was by the audience, the throw to catch ratio (accuracy), how well the routine flowed, and a number of other things.
Vaults (the dog launching off of some part of the handler's body) are not a requirement for freestyle, though it is a popular technique.
A lot of the handlers wear neoprene vests either over or under their shirt to keep from getting bruises shaped like dog paws all over themselves during vaults.
This dog/handler team was the most impressive at this competition. They were a big favorite of the crowd.
They set their routine to some really good, fast paced music. They moved dynamically with each other, staying engaged and exciting even when collecting the discs scattered around (they can use up to 5 discs in freestyle, unlike d/a which you can only use one disc for).
This dog is seriously athletic, and you can tell the handler works with her a lot to get to this point.
This move was impressive on both the handler and the dog side of it, with the handler doing a handstand/flip, throwing the disc with his feet, which the dog then caught with a really nice bounce in the air. Unfortunately my camera is too slow to catch both parts of the trick.
I mean, look at the BIG AIR in this picture. I almost didn't even have the dog in the frame anymore.
These routines were a ton of fun to watch, and gave me so many ideas. I really want to try freestyle with my dogs, but am not sure I will ever have the motivation to get to the point all of these people were at with their dogs competing. Flyball just takes up so much of my training and my dog-related thoughts I don't know if disc will be able to seriously compete for top billing.
Hope you enjoyed the BIG AIR shots from the weekend. There are still more disc dogging pictures to come later this week. Can't bog down the load times too much with tons of pictures all at once!
I will admit, the Mr. Fancy Pants song was so distracting during the actual competition that I have no memory of which dog it was played for (though I think it was for the Aussie). But, the music certainly stuck with me, and I remember thinking the duo was moving really nicely in line with the music.