Heelwork to Music in the UK



1.Handlers from around the world are invited to compete in the International Crufts Freestyle competition after completion and submission of the application form.

2. One representative from each country can compete numbers however are limited so entry is on a first come basis. 

3.If multiple applications are received from any country, the successful applicant will be decided by the organisers or through negotiation. 
Handlers must be resident in the country they are going to represent.

4.It is advisable for competitors to contact their Kennel Club to obtain permission to represent their country. Each country may wish to organise an elimination process to select their representative.

5. Closing date for applications (with the exception to the English representative) is to be announced

6. There is no entry fee for the competition

(a) The highest placed handler in the Crufts Freestyle Final will be invited forward to represent the UK in the Crufts International Freestyle competition.

(b) Handlers must reside in the home country they are intending to represent.

Definition of Freestyle

A freestyle routine will be the dog working off lead and contain movements in any position. Heelwork (as described below) is acceptable although such movements must not exceed one third of the routine.

Heelwork is defined as the dog working off lead in the heelwork position, on the left or right-hand side of the handler, facing forward or backward, across the front or back of the handler, moving in any direction, at any pace. The shoulder should be approximately level with, and reasonably close to, the handler’s leg.

Welfare of Dogs

A competitor whose dog is entered at a Kennel Club licensed event should take all reasonable steps to ensure the needs of their dog(s) are met, and should not knowingly put their dogs’ health and welfare at risk by any action, default, omission or otherwise. A breach of this Regulation may be referred to the General Committee for disciplinary action under Kennel Club Rules and Regulations.


1. Overseas dogs must have an ‘Authority to Compete’ (ATC) number from the Kennel Club. For further information on how to obtain your ATC number please refer to the Kennel Club website at Dogs residing in England, Scotland and Wales must be registered with the Kennel Club.

2. Only dogs aged 18 months and over on the day of the competition are eligible to compete.

3. No dogs with cropped ears will be allowed to compete.

4. No bitch in season is allowed to compete.

5.A running order will be produced for the competition and will be emailed to each competitor prior to the event as well as being displayed in the competitors’ benching area on the day of the competition.

6. All dogs entered must be kept under control.

7. Each handler will be given one dog and handler pass into Crufts only. Persons travelling with the dog and handler must purchase their own entry tickets.
8.Your dog will be allocated a bench on the day of the competition only.If you bring your dog into Crufts on days other than the day of theCompetition a bench can not be allocated to you.


1.The dignity of the dog must be respected throughout the routine.

2. Routines may start and end wherever the handler chooses, provided both the handler and dog are in the ring.

3. The following moves are NOT permitted during any routine. If any of the following moves are used the dog and handler will be eliminated from the competition.

Contact the Kennel club for further details.

4. Other moves should not be used which may be viewed as harmful or injurious to the dog. For example, a very large dog jumping/walking for a long time on its hind legs may not be beneficial to its structure and conformation. Likewise, a dog being carried on the handler’s back and being asked to jump off at head height may be viewed as not appropriate to the dog’s structure and conformation if landing could cause injury. The floor surface should be taken into consideration.
Routines should make good use of the available ring space.

5. Handlers costume appropriate to the routine is encouraged, however, you are reminded that Crufts is a family show and we ask that your dress remains respectable throughout your routine.

6. Dogs may only wear dressed collars.

7. Props are allowed provided they are an integral part of the routine and are not used to threaten the dog. The use of firearms or simulated gunshot is prohibited.

8. The use of voice and body language is encouraged; handlers may make contact with the dogs.

9. Dogs will be marked for excessive barking and noise unless cued and it is obviously a part of the routine. The Judges may deduct up to 4 points each from a routine dependant on how excessive they consider the barking or noise from the dog is. This deduction is then averaged to give an overall deduction from the handlers overall score. For example if Judge One deducts 2 points for barking; Judge Two deducts no points for barking and Judge three deducts 1 point for barking the points are added up and divided by three to give an overall deduction (2pts + 0pts + 1pt = 3pts divided by 3 (Judges) gives an overall deduction of 1 pt from the handlers overall score).

10.Food and toys are not allowed to be carried in the ring.

11. No handler shall impugn the decision of the judges.

12. Competitors are responsible for ensuring they are available to compete at the time of their running order.

13. No person shall carry out punitive correction or harsh handling of any dog at any time within the precincts of the competition.

14. Once a dog has entered the ring to compete, no further practice may be carried out.

15. Once a routine has been performed at the Crufts finals it may not be repeated again at future Crufts finals in any form.

The working surface is astro turf. The ring area will be rectangular and approximately 35 metres x 28 metres.


1. Each handler must post two copies of their own music on a CD (no audio cassette tapes) to the Crufts HTM Competition Manager. These must be received no later than 16th January 2016.
The CD’s must be clearly marked with the track to be used and the name of the artist and composer. Please package your CD’s carefully when sending to the Crufts HTM Competition Manager.

Music can not be accepted by email or any other form.

2. The length of the music may be up to 4 minutes.

3. A small programme overrun will be overlooked but more than approximately 5% (12 seconds) will be penalised by 2 marks.

4.All routines will be timed by an official timekeeper provided by the organisers. A routine starts when the music begins and ends when the music finishes.


There will be three judges seated separately along the short side of the ring. Each judge will mark all three sections of the judging criteria as follows:

Programme Content - 10 marks

1. The programme content conforms to the definition of Freestyle and should be varied with no excessive repetition of movement and content being appropriate to the routine.

2. Movements should be appropriate to the structure and conformation of the dog.

3. The movements of the dog should have a greater impact than those of the handler.

4.Degree of difficulty of movements should be taken into account.

Accuracy and Execution of Movement - 10 marks

1.Movements are accurately and smoothly executed.

2. The dog should work in a natural and willing manner.

3. The dog should respond promptly and appropriately to cues given (including use of props).

4. The bearing and deportment of the handler is appropriate to the routine. The handler and dog should work as a team.

Musical Interpretation - 10 marks

1. Interpretation of the rhythm, phrasing and timing should be apparent; the choice of music should suit the team.

2.Choreography should be apparent, flowing and not a series of disjointed moves. The routine should include balance, structure and making best use of available space.

3. Primary emphasis of musical interpretation should be on the dog’s movements although the handler should/may be expressive.

4. The handler’s dress and any props should be suitable and applicable to the interpretation of the routine.

(a) In the event of dogs obtaining equal marks the Musical Interpretation mark will decide the result.

(b) When assessing a routine, the judges should take into account any degree of departure from the regulations for handlers and dogs.

(c) Where applicable, judges should mark to one decimal place.

(d) Excessive barking and noise will be penalised in the relevant section of the scoring at the judge’s discretion.

(e) The music and routine must be suitable for a family audience and the spectator appeal of the programme should be apparent.

(f) If a dog leaves the ring and ceases working, it will be eliminated from the competition but allowed to continue and complete its routine, as long as the music is playing. If a dog accidentally steps outside the ring during a routine, it will not be penalised.



Please print clearly and complete all sections of the application form.

Name of Country to be represented:

Name of handler to represent country:


Telephone No (inc STD code):

Email address:

Does the nominated handler reside in your country: yes/no

KC registered name of dog:

KC Registration No or Authority to Compete No:

Pet name of dog:


Dog or bitch:

Dogs date of birth:

Title of Music Being Used:

Artist of Music Being Used:

Composer of Music Being Used:

In no more than 1-2 lines please tell us about you and your dog.
This information will be read out at Crufts as you enter the Arena.

Please indicate here how you will signal to the Crufts music DJ that you would like them to start your music i.e. I will raise my right hand or nod my head etc.

Please enclose a photocopy of the handler’s passport details.

Please return to:
Gina Pink, Crufts HTM Competition Manager, 1 Woodside Park,
Bordon, Hants, England, GU35 0EY or for further information regarding the competition you can email Gina on

Dog balanced on handlers shoulders 
Whilst handler is standing
Head stand
(also known as tripod)
Dog balanced on its nose and front paws with back paws off the ground
Hand Stand
Where dog is balanced on its front feet either statically or moving

Dog balanced on handlers upturned feet
Forward or backward roll
where dog is required to roll either backwards or forwards
Or any variations of these moves
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