Heelwork To Music

Heelwork To Music

Heelwork & Freestyle Shows, Classes, Workshop & Lessons

HTM (Heelwork-to-Music) / Canine Freestyle
HTM (Heelwork-to-Music) Heelwork and Freestyle (Dancing with Dogs) - All are welcome from complete beginners to top competition standard.

HTM has two categories - Heelwork and Freestyle. Freestyle is a series of ‘moves’ that are set to music (don’t worry, you don’t have to dance if you’d rather not!) and Heelwork includes a variety of different heelwork positions and directions that are also set to music.

Is my dog suitable and can you help me? - The great thing about HTM / Freestyle is it can be modified to suit each individual dog. Christina is equally happy to work with complete beginners or advanced level competition handlers. She’s happy to work on moves, heelwork, choreography, drive and motivation, or calm concentration (having had to work on both extremes with her own dogs,) or anything else that you are needing help with. Clients range from complete beginners to a Crufts finalist.

Other trainers - Christina also loves taking HTM training days for other dogs trainers, either as a one off or a regular training group. If this is something that you might be interested in please ask.

HTM is Christina's favourite dog sport, both to teach and with her own dogs. The fun and partnership that dogs and handlers have is brilliant… come along and see why!
  • Christina's Experience in HTM
    Christina Oxtoby
    HTM is Christina's speciality and greatest love in working with her own dogs, and also her greatest fun in working with other handlers and their dogs. 
    - Twice British Team member for the Open European Championships.
    - Twice HTM Freestyle Crufts finalist (finishing 5th in the UK)
    - HTM Heelwork Crufts Finalist 2020
    - Reached the Crufts Semi Finals (heelwork and freestyle) with 3 different dogs (including a Great Dane.)
    - Advanced HTM KC Judge (heelwork and freestyle)
    - Competing in HTM since 2006.
    - Has competed with her 2 Great Danes, 2 Border Collies, German Shepherd, Basset Hound and (yet to start competing) Chihuahua in HTM / Freestyle. Has worked with countless other dogs and handlers

    Christina's Dogs - Christina has wide experience of working with a variety of breeds with her own dogs over the last 18 years, as well as her many clients' dogs. Caleb, her Great Dane and Asaph, her German Shepherd got her started in HTM and Freestyle, Eze, her Border Collie competed at the Crufts Freestyle Finals 2014 and 2015 finishing 5th in the UK and was also part of the British Team competing at the Open European Championships (OEC) in Holland in 2013 and Germany in 2014. Ru, her more recent Great Dane was the only other Great Dane in the UK to compete in HTM and as far as we are aware the most advanced HTM Great Dane in the world competing at advanced level and qualifying for the 2015 Crufts Semi Finals. Ru was also part of the HTM Dog Activities Main Arena Display Team at Crufts for 3 years.  Shai, Christina's current Border Collie is competing at advanced level having competed in the Crufts HTM Heelwork Finals in 2020, and Wilma, her Basset Hound (also the only HTM Basset Hound in the UK - Christina likes a challenge!) has just started competing and has also been part of the Dog Activities HTM Display Team at Crufts. Benji the Chihuahua has just started his training, but has definitely decided that all moves related to running and jumping are fun! (We think he may also choose to be an agility dog!)
  • HTM Training Shows
    • On hold until further notice due to Covid Safety
      HTM Training Shows

      Although training shows are not competitions they are a brilliant way of training your dog in the same conditions as a show AND you can reward your dog with food / toys in the ring and work on whatever you need to.

      Please read the following carefully, by entering this training show you agree to…

      1. Limited to 20 handers per day
      2. Each handler has 4 rounds in the ring of up to 4 minutes each time. These rounds may be all for one dog or split between other dogs the handler may have. Cost £25 per handler.
      3. There will be a running order on the day and this will be followed. Please arrive for running order number one as it may be you. Each handler will be expected to stay around for the day and be an ‘audience’ for the other handlers.
      4. Each handler will be expected to take a turn to ‘help’ during the day (each round will need someone as ring steward in, ring steward out, plus a timer and ‘presser of play on the (loud) CD player’)
      5. Ring size is approx. 12m x 11m with exhibition carpet flooring.
      6. Music - only one track of a CD will be played each run, therefore if you want a full 4 mins in the ring you will need to supply an edited track of 4 mins.
      7. This training show does NOT have judges to give feedback, however Christina (advanced HTM judge) is happy to watch one of your rounds and give you feedback if you would like - just ask first thing in the morning.

      1. Dogs do NOT have to be registered with the Kennel Club
      2. Dogs are welcome from 6 months old onwards HOWEVER dogs under 18 months old must not do any freestyle moves that could in any way injure them (including repetitive, strenuous or high impact moves) and it is expected that dogs under 12 months old will mostly be learning to pay attention and have fun in the ring with little more being asked of them. Christina Oxtoby (and delegated officials) reserve the right to stop routines if the dog is thought to be performing inappropriate moves. Please be sensible with your dog.
      3. No-one shall carry out punitive correction or harsh handling anywhere within the venue or grounds. Christina Oxtoby (and delegated officials) reserve the right to immediately remove anyone doing so from the venue. Please be kind to your dog.
      4. No moves or handling which may cause injury to dogs (of any age) are allowed. Christina Oxtoby (and delegated officials) reserve the right to stop routines if the dog is thought to be performing inappropriate moves.
      5. Handlers are responsible for ensuring that their dog is healthy and fit to participate. (Please do not bring your dog if they have knowingly been in contact with an infectious / contagious dog within 21 days of the show.)
      6. All dogs must be under control at all times within the venues.
      7. No female dog in season is allowed at the venue.
      8. Anyone not adhering to these rules will be asked to leave the venue immediately (without refund.)
      9. The entry fee is non-refundable.
      10. In the unlikely event that the event is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances or bad weather, Event Dogs will refund fees minus reasonably incurred expenses.

      1. You can book and pay below to reserve your place.
      2. Click on the small payment box below of the event you wish to book
      3. You will then see a shopping basket in the corner of your screen - click on that
      4. Click on 'checkout'
      5. Choose your payment method - 'Phone order' isn't phone, it's a cheque or BACS payment (details are given.) The easiest way to pay is 'credit or debit card.' We use Ecwid secure payment system meaning that we cannot see any of your details and your payment is secure.
      6. If you get stuck, contact us - we're here to help!
      7. Please note we cannot book and secure your place until payment in full has been received.

  • HTM Classes - On hold until further notice due to Covid Safety
    HTM Classes
    - Christina Oxtoby

    Because classes last for just under 2 hours and only have
    a maximum of 6 dogs in them all abilities are welcome. The first hour handlers work at the same time on whatever moves they wish to whilst Christina comes around and helps them. The second hour handlers work one at a time (or when appropriate in small groups) being able to use the whole space (approx 11m x 15m.)

    When - on hold until further notice
  • HTM Private Lessons - AVAILABLE
    HTM Private Lessons
    - Christina Oxtoby

    (HTM prices are lower than normal private lesson prices to assist people in their ongoing HTM training… plus Christina REALLY loves teaching HTM!) Private lessons are available for both training and choreography.

    Prices -
    • Zoom Lesson - £35 per hour / £20 per 30 mins (if you wish Christina to give video feedback please send this before the lesson)
    • Outdoor Lesson in Rayleigh - £40 per hour / £20 per 30 mins
    • Indoor Lesson in Rayleigh (in a medium sized carpeted hall) - 1 hour - £49 / £27 (includes hall hire costs)

    To book a private lesson
    please contact us. (You are welcome to have a shared private lesson if you would like.)
    (Email addresses are automatically added to our mailing list for helpful information about training and behaviour. You can easily unsubscribe at anytime.)
  • HTM Choreography Workshop with Lucy Creek and Christina Oxtoby - On hold until further notice due to Covid Safety
    HTM Choreography Workshop with Lucy Creek and Christina Oxtoby
    Instructors – Lucy Creek (HTM Crufts Champion for several years) & Christina Oxtoby (Head Trainer, Event Dogs & HTM specialist)

    Lucy and Christina represent completely different approaches to choreography but over the years have come to realise the importance of combining the two methods. Lucy is one of the most innovative 'thinking outside the box' people in HTM, and specialises in thinking of themes and story telling. Christina's background is in music (she has a music degree) and enjoys listening to the phrases and nuances of the music whilst adding in dance elements. As well as them both being HTM Crufts competitors and members of British International HTM teams they are also both advanced HTM judges.

    They have wide experience of working with a variety of different breeds including – Border Collies, Beagles, Great Danes, Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla, Basset Hound, German Shepherd and Chihuahua (plus the many other dogs and owners that they have coached.) They understand that different dogs need completely different choreography including the need to add elements to perk up some dogs and calm down others!

    The day will include -
    • Story telling and the 'big idea' - Lucy
    • Musical beats, themes and phrases – Christina
    • Creative ways to make moves tell stories – Lucy
    • Costumes, the good the bad and the ugly! - Lucy and Christina
    • Props, when and when not to bring the kitchen sink! - Lucy and Christina
    • Your posture and movement (don't panic – not dance!) - Christina
    • Writing out your routine – Lucy and Christina
    • Music editing – Lucy (ideas for additions of music) and Christina (how to musically make it make sense)
    • Different breeds, different dogs, different ideas – Lucy and Christina
    • Special considerations for heelwork (music, theme and movement) – Lucy and Christina
    • Learning from videos – Lucy and Christina
    • Help and ideas with your own routine – small group discussions with input from Lucy and Christina (please bring your music on your phone or tablet if you can)
  • HTM / Canine Freestyle Intensive Workshop - On hold until further notice due to Covid Safety
    HTM / Canine Freestyle Intensive Workshop - On hold until further notice due to Covid Safety
    Instructor - Christina Oxtoby

    A full day to blitz your Heelwork-to-Music / Canine Freestyle! There will only be 6 of you meaning there will be plenty of time to work both individually and as a group. We’ll look at routines together, new moves, links, heelwork and motivation. We'll also look at choreography ideas (although there won’t be time to choreograph a routine for you in detail, you would need to book a private lesson to do that,) If there are things you’d like us to look at, just say. Handlers from complete beginners to those already doing well in competition are equally welcome.

    In the morning handlers all work at the same time with each handler having help and input from Christina on whatever they would find helpful. In the afternoon handlers work one at a time, again with individual help and input from Christina.

    There will be a maximum of 6 dogs, please make sure that your dog will be happy working in a hall with other dogs (ie. not bark at or be aggressive to them.)
  • Intro to HTM / Canine Freestyle Workshop - On hold until further notice due to Covid Safety
    Intro to HTM / Canine Freestyle Workshop - On hold until further notice due to Covid Safety
    Instructor - Christina Oxtoby

    This workshop is ideal for dogs that have a good level of basic training and are able to work with other dogs around. It is designed for those who either have no experience with Freestyle moves (tricks) or who have some basic moves and wish to learn more. It will focus on teaching a toolkit of different moves and will also feature different props to train with plus how to choose music and themes to go with it. (Note - you do not have to dance… unless you really, really want to!)

    There will be a maximum of 6 dogs, please make sure that your dog will be happy working in a hall with other dogs (ie. not bark at or be aggressive to them.)
Workshop refund policy – If you cancel your booking with more than 2 calendar months to go before the event you are entitled to a full refund minus a £10 admin fee. If you cancel with more than 1 calendar month to go you are entitled to a 50% refund minus a £10 admin fee. With less than a calendar month to go before your booked event we are sorry but we are unable to offer you a refund, however you are welcome to pass your place on to someone else (we only ask that if it's a handler place their dog is suitable for the event that you have booked.) We do sometimes have waiting lists for events so if you know that you will be unable to attend an event please contact us as soon as possible and if we can help we will.