Patie Ventre, Founder

"My intentions are to see Canine Freestyle grow to a world competitive
sport, with Team America competing. Perhaps one day in the Olympics!"

Bachelor of Arts-Fine Arts, New York University

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Parsons School of Design

Roller Skating Champion: from age 9 to 20 years old

Competitive Ballroom Dancer, Champion 1982-1986

Now dances socially and to relax.

Started Ventre Advertising Inc. in 1977. Have worked with pet industry clients, in promotion of products, sports events and event planning since 1977. Specialize in Professional Services and promoting joys of responsible pet ownership.

  • General Foods-Gaines & Cycle. Regionals and Classics
  • Gaines Dog Foods, Inc.
  • The Quaker Oats Company
  • Heinz Pet Products
  • Nature’s Recipe Pet Foods
  • Del Monte Pet Foods

National Publicity Director Cycle/Pup-Peroni Dog Obedience & Agility Events since 1991 Set the stage for the first organized demonstration of Musical Canine Freestyle in the USA Responsible for promoting Musical Canine Sports International in the USA Global Publicity Director for Nature’s Recipe Pet Foods Canine Freestyle and Pup-Peroni Canine Freestyle. Creator of the Cycle & Pup-Peroni Canine Freestyle Teams and Representative network around the world

Work on behalf of this new sport, developing sponsors, finding supporters, helping build organizations with the goal being 6 Regional competitions, one national and one world each year.

Organizer and creator of the Canine Freestyle Events judged with Olympic style judging.

Founder of WCFO, Inc., The World Canine Freestyle Organization.
Titling Events, Fun Matches

Coordinator of The Show Dogs of the Year Awards before Westminster from 1993 to 2006.

Member of the Dog Writers Association of American
Member of the Cat Writers Association of American
Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Member of the Press for Front & Finish

Judge for regional ADDY Awards (advertising)
Judge for illustration and graphics division for CWA contest

Owner of The Wonderful World of Cats Poster
Creator of The Cycle Guide to America’s Dogs

Dogs:

Quicksilver Ready to Dance, Border Collie, call name Dancer, W-DDX, W-Ch.FD/MF, W-FDM/HTM, W-BFDX, W-PFD, CGC -
Registered with the AKC, UKC and North American Border Collie Association.

Sassy’s Glamour Girl of Darden, call name Sassy, Chinese Crested Powderpuff/Papillon mix, call name Sassy, W-FD/MF, W-BFDX

Other Interests: Skiing, Biating, Scuba Diving
Captain of the “Sassy Patie”, 30 foot cruiser
United Inter Yacht Club: Commander, Rear Commander
Brooklyn Yacht Club: Fleet Captain, Board of Governors
Hudson River Yacht Club: Good & Welfare

Loves to ski, boat, fish, jet ski, scuba dive and dance, dance, dance!


How it all began (From an interview):

In 1993, Patie Ventre presented the first organized demonstration of canine freestyle dancing at the Gaines Classic in Memphis, Tenn. Ventre beams as she tells me: "I created WCFO Inc. with 13 other people in 1999. We now have over 60 people actively making the organization go round, over 30 clubs worldwide and over 5,000 active people on our information lists.

"I love that we all created a dog sport that truly represents the spirit of sharing and bonding with your pet and with each other. Hopefully someday, before I die, I will get to see canine freestyle in the Olympics. If someone told me 10 years ago I would be dancing with dogs, I would have laughed in their face!"

What makes canine freestyle so enthralling to Ventre?

"The sharing and bonding with my dogs and the fun we have! It is a stress reliever, too. I love choreographing routines, selecting music, designing costumes and practicing, practicing--that makes us laugh! I can actually see when the light bulb goes off on their faces and they've finally got it! They know they understand and just want to do it over and over because they are so proud of themselves."

Ventre's freestyle training approach is very holistic. She trains the whole dog: mind, body and spirit. The core of her training and her performance celebrates her dog's joy to prance with mom, while entrancing the audience. Her techniques are upbeat and focus on fun for the dog.

Clickers? Yes and No

Does Ventre use clicker training to perfect all these bouncing bows and smooth moves on the dance floor?

"Yes, sort of. I never use the clicker to train a move I am trying to get [because] I may click at the wrong time and [reinforce] something undesirable. Remember, I am physically interacting with my dogs; plus using toys/treats. The opportunity for a mistake is very apparent since I do not juggle!

I use [the clicker] after I have the move and want to make it perfect and consistent. I also use a clicker on the fly. I may have it on me and if I see something my dog is doing that I want [to reinforce] as a move, I will click and treat that behavior, thus capturing the behavior."

Ventre does not use lots of treats in her training, explaining, "I believe the personal interaction is very important to instill as a reward for focus and attention."

What teaches her most in a training session?

"My dogs; if I can read their movements, there is nothing we cannot create together that is uniquely ours."

How long does it take to teach a dog with basic obedience skills a polished routine?

She advises: "This is not a good question to ask of a dedicated freestyle team! The routine is done when it is done; it does not matter how long it takes to create it. My focus is on attention. It takes me from three months to one year to create a routine to the level I like. Some routines are easier than others to create."

Each dog is unique

A mind-to-mind connection is obvious in Ventre's determination to have her dogs succeed and perform moves that bring them joy. She is not a cookie-cutter, "you will do this because I say so" kind of trainer. True partnership is the message as she shares her training examples. "I have yet to teach Dancer to roll over!" she says. "It is not her move. She hates having her underside exposed. Which brings me to another important issue: training moves and using the ones your dog loves.

"Each dog has its own specific moves that turn them on. These moves are done beautifully, and naturally. A good team will capitalize on them. Sometimes an owner sees another team do a great move and then tries to do it with their dog and sometimes this does not work. The onus is on the owner to find the perfect moves that work with their dog, not try to copy everything successful they see in another team."

Her advice to beginners in the sport?

"Visit Web sites of freestyle organizations to find one that suits [you]. Visit and join the e-mail freestyle group lists. Telephone to get information and locate people in your area. Most important: Attend a conference event with workshops and meet the people of the organization."

Up on your feet, dog lovers! Catch the freestyle fever! Chances are, there's a dog sitting or lying very close to you who is watching your face and trying to send you the message "Gotta Dance!"

 

  About WCFO © 2009 The World Canine Freestyle Organization

 

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