A DANCING dog has taken the country by storm since appearing on a top TV talent show – but do you know South Yorkshire’s best performing pooch?
Tell us about your talented dog by calling The Star’s Richard Blackledge on 0114 2767676 extension 3406 or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pudsey and his 17-year-old owner Ashleigh Butler delighted the audience on Britain’s Got Talent with an energetic routine to the theme tune from The Flintstones, writes Richard Blackledge.
The six-year-old dog pranced about on his hind legs, weaved around Ashleigh and leapt in the air, staying perfectly in sync throughout the whole number. Afterwards, judge and music mogul Simon Cowell said Pudsey was one of the best dancing dogs he’d ever seen.
But the playful pet hails from Northamptonshire – and now The Star wants to find the most talented canine in South Yorkshire.
We’re looking for a dog that can dance, perform tricks, or maybe something more unusual.
For example, your pet might be fond of singing along to pop hits or theme tunes, or could be an artistic marvel when it gets its paws on a paintbrush and canvas.
Sheffield dog trainer Phil Jackson, who runs PJ Dog Training, said Ashleigh would have had to put in a ‘phenomenal effort’ to achieve Pudsey’s performance.
“It requires the training of the dog but also the precision of doing it to music and it has to be in time,” said Phil, from Woodthorpe.
He added that breeds such as border collies tend to be easier to train to dance.
“There are also quite a lot of cross breeds, such as poodle crosses, that will adapt themselves to things like standing on their back legs.
“The dog has to be physically put together to do it.”
But the trainer said dogs need a good incentive to get up on stage.
“You can’t make dogs do things like that. They’ve got to like doing it,” said Phil. “Owners should take their dogs to a professional, Kennel Club-registered trainer, to do it properly with the correct motivational and reward-based training.”
Dogs are currently hot property in the entertainment world since silent movie The Artist swept the board at this year’s Oscars ceremony.
The film’s success was helped by one of its leading actors, Uggie, a cute Jack Russell who charmed cinemagoers with his on-screen antics, which included rescuing his owner from a burning building.
Demand for the breed has surged, and even Simon Cowell said he was on a mission to find Britain’s answer to Uggie on the current series of Britain’s Got Talent.
Meanwhile Pudsey – a border collie, bichon frise and Chinese crested-cross – is through to the next round of the talent show, which won an audience of more than 11 million on Saturday night.
Ashleigh spends up to an hour every day training her dog, and has previously won awards for her agility and freestyle performances.