Friday, April 4, 2014

A to Z: D is for Drill team

I started on a Drill Team three years ago as a substitute. That year we were performing Thriller and I got to be a part of the performance at the Lexington Kennel Club show. We had one obedience class under our belt and had less than month to learn the routine.  
 Dobby and I are the team in the bottom left corner. He broke his down stay and I was a little nervous but we learned a lot in that routine. We improved the routine this year when we were asked to perform it at four different festivals and events this past fall.
This year's routine was The Lion King featuring a medley of songs from the movies and Broadway play. Dobby was chosen to play Simba and I was Rafiki. We began this routine in May of last year and continued to work at until the Kennel Club show in September.
We performed this routine at  our county fair twice, the state show, and the Lexington Kennel Club show.
At the Lexington Show we were approached by a member of the Lake Cumberland Kennel Club who asked our team to perform at their Bow Wow Christmas Festival. We agreed and revamped our routine to feature a medley of Trans Siberian Orchestra music.
After we got our Thriller performances out of the way in October, we devoted most of November to the Christmas routine. We kept a lot of the elements of the Lion King routine but put a new spin on it. The crowd loved it! We performed the routine twice during the festival with big crowds both times.
Our last performance of the 2013 season was our most treasured. We were asked to perform for a wonderful group at a local nursing home. We performed shorten versions of our routines and freestyles. Afterwards we got to spend time with the residents. Our dogs loved the attention from the residents and we loved sharing time with them as well.
Our team consists of fifteen handlers and thirteen dogs. Nine of the dogs are rescue dogs which were all trained by the girls handling them and eight of the teams had never done drill team before this year. Drill team teaches lots of obedience and requires time commitment and patience. Our team trains just as hard as any sports team, dedicating most of our summer evenings to perfecting our routines. We've grown close as a family and love every moment we get to spend together with our dogs.
While drill teams may take a lot of prep work they pay off in end. Dobby's sit and down stays have improved with lots of distractions that are present in the ring. I've also learned to have patience and understanding through working with the team and Dobby.  Dobby's also become quite the diva with all this show business(just kidding).
Have you ever thought about joining a Drill Team?
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  1. I commend you and your team - what great work. I never knoew these types of teams and exhibitions existed - love it.

  2. This is so awesome. I can't believe you have so many kids in your area interested in Drill Team! I could hardly put a team of adults together, let alone kids! It seems like kids are so busy these days, we can barely get our 4-Hers in once a week for obedience class. Who choreographs your routines and edits the music?

    1. We definitely have a dedicated group. We brainstorm ideas and work them out to get the routine made and our music is usually cut by a team parent.

  3. Those videos were awesome! I've never heard of a human/dog drill team before. It looks like a lot of fun!

  4. What a team! I love dog teams - it teaches such great focus, and also how to work together with a human primarily rather than focusing on the other dogs. Your team looks like such great fun. (Great music choice, too!)

  5. What fun? you two are really doing well with this sport. I like he music too!