Perhaps you have heard of Ashleigh and Pudsey? If you have ever seen or follow the world of dog dancing, then you will know they are one dance team that makes some folks on Dancing With the Stars looks like complete amateurs. But it seems them may have some new found competition, at least when it comes to inciting the heavy metal crowd which is just what Irena Ištvánková & Layla did at Crufts this year. Though they came in 3rd place, they caught the attention of many around the globe for their unique performance. We say, rock on!
As to the UK sensations Ashleigh and Pudsey, there are no signs of this talented due stopping any time soon. After winning Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, their popularity continues to date. In fact, BGT judge, Simon Cowell was so impressed, he produced a live action comedy film featuring Pudsey and his siblings Molly, George and Tommy, called Pudsey the Dog: The Movie. And this year found them touring in the live show, Mission ImPUDSEYble.
The pair have been together now for 10 years and Ashleigh shared in an interview with the UK Daily, “Pudsey has been my better half since I was 11, we’ve shared so many incredible memories and he’s brought such joy to my life. Keeping him happy and healthy is one of my priorities, not only as a dog owner, but as a best friend.”
While Irena, Layla, Ashleigh, and Pudsey are performing in the freestyle aspect, here is another of the dance-based forms of competition. Check this year’s FCI Dog Dance World Championship’s winners in the Heelwork to Music (HTM) division. Competing pairs are judged on their program content, accuracy and execution, and musical interpretation, with Ilina Polina and Ilim from Russia coming out as top dogs, selected from a talented group of international competitors.
Performers and performances like all of these inspire many to join the ranks of freestyle and agility with their own dogs. While certainly entertaining, perhaps the most important element is the encouraging everyone, human and canine, to have some fun and get the benefits of some good exercise along the way.