Dancing dog shows off tricks in amazing performance with owner

Do more than just train your dog to roll over, play catch or give you a high five. You can teach your old dog new tricks - and it could be learning a highly complicated dance move.

Dancer Sandra Roth, a ballet and jazz dancer for over 24 years, has combined her favourite passions together by teaching her dog Lizzy some fancy paw-work. 

Their amazing routine was first performed in November at the Open European Championships (OEC) in Heelwork to Music and Freestyle 2014 in Stuttgart, Germany, but has since made the rounds online captivating dog-lovers and dance enthusiasts alike. 

Their routine sees Lizzy matching her owner's graceful moves as she launches into twirls in tandem with Ms Roth, strides along to the melody, and moves in step with the rhythm. 

The dance buddies are aficionados of a sport called dogdance where humans and man's best friends perform choreographed dance routines. According to the DogDance International Association established in 2009, dogdance is a "fast growing dog sport with an increasing number of active teams as well as spectators". 

"There are no compulsory movements or elements, so each team can present their individual strengths and skills," the DogDance International website said. "No other dog sport offers that much flexibility to... adapt each performance to the capabilities and needs of each team member (dog as well as human)."

Ms Roth said she first started training with her older dog Nana who had hip dysplasia and was not able to run and jump extensively. Lizzy, however, began training at an early age. 

"Lizzy has been learning tricks and freestyle moves since she was a puppy. But we’ve had many problems and she was not an easy dog. So our main focus for the first three years was on her social behaviour and not on dog sports," Ms Roth wrote on her performer profile on the OEC website. 

According to dogdance enthusiasts, Lizzy was not only able to memorise the choreographed moves, but she also displayed an ability to freestyle along with her dance partner.

The two have been doing performances for two years now.  "We are still struggling, but Freestyle also helps us to overcome some problems and challenges," she added. 

Ms Roth said the bond between her and her furry friend has also improved. She said Lizzy "gets more and more confident and our relationship has improved a lot. She is also starting to enjoy the attention from the audience".

Watch their amazing performance below.

idayus@sph.com.sg