Dancing with Rottweilers

Erik Dams links to an intriguing little thing by Bill Horton, editor of Offbeat Magazine (“not the New Orleans one”) about musical hand signals. I’ve bumped into about half of them, but there are many others–jazz is much more formulaic than most folks think, and it’s not difficult to communicate which ending you’re going to do when you’ve only got three to start with.

Hand signals also form an important part of human-animal performance. Unfortunately DogsInAction.co.uk is down, but there’s a good link page here and Joan Hustace Walker’s The Rottweiler Handbook tells us:

Musical canine freestyle is a sport in which dog and owner perform a choreographed routine to music. There are two different sanctioning organizations for this sport: the Canine Freestyle Federation (CFF) and the World Canine Freestyle Organization (WCFO) [the WWF hasn’t moved in here yet]… In general, the sport requires an obedient Rottweiler, an owner with a little rhythm and coordination, and a desire to try something new… [O]n- and off-leash events are offered, as well as entry-level classes for beginners.

The also-bought feature for DANCING WITH YOUR DOG – THE BOOK at DogWise makes good reading:

  • STEVE’S REAL FOOD FREEZE DRIED BEEF DINNER FOR DOGS
  • STEVE’S REAL FOOD FREEZE DRIED CHICKEN DINNER FOR DOGS
  • WILD SIDE SALMON TREATS FOR DOGS, 1 OZ
  • DANCING WITH YOUR DOG: GETTING STARTED (TAPE 1) VIDEO
  • FIGHT! A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE TREATMENT OF DOG-DOG AGGRESSION

I tell people on walks that aggressive-looking farm dogs will run away if you signal that you’re about to stone them. However, one characterful gent from Mr Clinton’s home town didn’t grasp the strategic objectives of my communications plan and had to be prevented from lobbing large rocks at a harmless little beast sleeping at the gate of a farmhouse whose owners doubtless possessed weapons many times more potent.

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