Dance with Dogs

What is Dances with Dogs?

Dances with Dogs is a fun sport where people and their dogs perform together to music.

Their routines include a range of moves and actions by the dog which portrays the theme of the music. It is most entertaining and spectators thoroughly enjoy seeing the enjoyment of the dogs and marvelling at their achievements.

Dances with Dogs began in England about 20 years ago and is now a global sport which spread to Australia 10 years ago.

Benefits of Dances with Dogs

  • It is FUN! For both handler and dog.
  • Handlers have the opportunity to develop and utilise their creative skills, and to train and showcase their dogs in a unique way.
  • Dogs and handlers develop great rapport through working together.
  • Dogs are kept active which improves their fitness as they develop greater flexibility.

DWD is suitable for handlers of all ages and dogs of all breeds.

If you are interested in learning how to ‘dance with your dog’, you can come along and find out more about regular classes conducted on DogsSA premises, Cromwell Road, Kilburn.

Contact instructor, Karin Marder on 0414 829 725,

‘Dances with Dogs’ (DWD) began in the UK in the 1990s. It was approved by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) as an official dog sport in Australia from 1st January 2009.

In 2012 it was approved by Dogs SA (South Australian Canine Association) as an official sport and Competitions commenced shortly thereafter.

Demonstrations are performed at public events such as the Adelaide Royal Show, Animal Expo, School Fetes, or private venues, such as Aged Care Homes.

In Competitions, there are 2 separate categories under the overall umbrella of Dances with Dogs: 1) Freestyle and 2) Heelwork to Music.

There are four levels in Australia: Starters, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced (followed by Champion) – in both Freestyle and HTM.

Freestyle routines enable the handler to include innovative and creative moves and movement in time to music, giving the illusion of dance.

Heelwork to Music (HTM), is more closely aligned to obedience heelwork, with designated positions, for at least 70% of the routine.

LINKS – this website is used by the different states DWD clubs etc to promote competitions, workshops and other information. has some information or go to Facebook for the DWD Club of SA.

The details of the requirements and official rules can be found on the South Australia pages of under ‘Rules and Guidelines to Freestyle and Heelwork to Music’.

DWD combines the love of music and the love of being with your dog. It really is fun preparing your routine. And competitions are not nearly as scary as might seem at first. Be positive, creative and imaginative and enjoy the experience!

Margaret Bourn,
Dances with Dogs, Dogs SA
8374 2789

Margaret and Gilda doing their “A Couple of Clowns” routine.