My name is Anne-Marie Kristiansen and I live in Belgium in the Liège area with my two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
I follow with interest all the news regarding dog dancing on the internet and when I first heard about the new Danish HTM Skills test, I thought it was a brilliant idea.
The tests were so thought through. It seems a great way to guide a dog and handler into the world of dog dancing and give them an understanding as to what this sport is all about and how to build up a flowing routine.
In the dog club C.C.S.Liège, where I train my dogs, we are a group of handlers of all ages – young, children, adults and elderly people, who all come together with one goal: to have a great time with our dogs. It does not matter as much, if we ever get ready for the big championships or the advanced classes. The important thing for us is that we have a wonderful time with each other and our dogs.
I asked the Danish HTM committee for permission to translate the test description and use it in out club. We got the ‘go ahead’ and the next week, we were all busy training for the 1st level.
Oh we had so much to do and so much to talk about. I answered lots of questions and the dogs and handlers were busy. So much to consider. Is it easier to teach the dog to ‘shake hands’ if it is sitting on a chair? Can I use an umbrella instead of a cane? Etc.
The running order was decided by a random draw and Stark the Sharpei was first dog in the ring. Everyone were very quiet and followed the trial with deep concentration. Stark worked well. He was a little insecure at first, but got it together and finished in flying colours.
Next dog was a Cavalier, who also worked well… and on it went. All of the dogs were fabulous and the handlers felt the excitment of doing great with your canine partner in a competition ring. It was a great experience for all of us. 9 teams completed the test and got a diploma.
I am so glad that all of the handlers got to feel the excitement that you feel, when you perform well with your dog. -And to feel the partnership and joy of completing a job together.
Thanks for letting us join you with your skills tests.
Best wishes Anne-Marie Kristiansen