“The modern era of musical freestyle got started in the late 1980s, but there are signs that the idea of dancing dogs goes back to antiquity. In fact, they were depicted in a famous piece of Pre-Columbian art retrieved from Aztec tombs. Later, musical trick dog acts were favorite attractions for street, circus, and vaudeville performers. The 1941 movie musical Lady Be Good features a lovely tap-dance routine performed by Eleanor Powell and a Russell Terrier,” according to the American Kennel Club.
Can you imagine that? Dog dancing as early as the period of the Aztecs, long before Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas! You can’t help but wonder what kinds of training those ancient people had done with their dogs. In other ancient records, these animals served as guard dogs, hunting dogs, and military service dogs. But, dancing dogs? Wow!
Yet, it did take hundreds of years for dog dancing to gain popularity. Vaudeville shows, circuses, and street performances later featured musical trick dogs.
Then, in the late 1980s, the interest in dog dancing — which became known as musical canine freestyle — experienced a revival. Trainers became more innovative and started “heeling” to music through basic obedience training.
Then, in 2012, Ashleigh Jade Butler with Pudsy, a shaggy white-mixed breed, amazed Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent.
“You know me, I love a dancing dog. And Pudsey’s one of the best dancing dogs I’ve ever seen,” said Cowell.
Training a dog to dance is no easy task. But this Tiktok user’s patience and training mastery are laudable! Watch all of these canine freestyle dancers shine!
@the_trickstars Had to be done 🤣🤣 #fyp #foryoupage #boomboom #boomboomshake #boomboomshakeshakenowdrop #boomshakedrop #dogsoftiktok #dogtricks #bordercollie #maltese ♬ original sound – Shelby Willis