Dansen en Honden: Hondenhoek Interview met Sabine Van Houten - Blog

Dancing with Dogs: Interview with Sabine

Niek Uitenbos

Sabine Van Houten (31) is an active dog dancer. Together with her dog Rambo, she travels around the world to participate in various competitions. We met her near Brela, Croatia. In three days she has a competition in the capital of Croatia. To train and completely relax, together with Rambo, she isolated herself from the hustle and bustle in picturesque Brela. We talked to her about her life, her dog and her dance competitions.

Dancing with dogs

Niek Uitenbos (Hondenhoek): Hello Sabine! How nice to meet you here in these beautiful surroundings!
Sabine Van Houten: Thank you also for meeting me. Croatia is beautiful, I come here often. Regular competitions here and the tranquility and the view? Yes, that will never get boring.

Niek Uitenbos (Hondenhoek): Tell us something about yourself? How can people know you from?
Sabine Van Houten: I don't think many people will know me, but I have traveled all over the world. Unknown world traveler haha. So I'm Sabine, Sabine Van Houten. 31-year-old Leuven resident who spends more time elsewhere in the world than in Leuven. Together with my 4-year-old Golden Retriever, Rambo, we travel the world. We are dog dancers, as it is called. Dancing with dogs. Wonderful to do, beautiful to see!

Niek Uitenbos (Hondenhoek): Dogdancer, we had to look it up. So it's a real thing, dancing with dogs?
Sabine Van Houten: Yes! It's already big in the United States of America and Canada, where you can often find us, but we are now coming to Europe. More and more competitions are coming here!

WOEF Blog news dog woman Sabine dancing

From hobby to job

Niek Uitenbos (Hondenhoek): We can imagine that you must have a very strong connection with your dog? Tell us about Rambo, your Golden Retriever?
Sabine Van Houten: Yes, certainly. My connection with Rambo is very strong. Rambo senses exactly when I am stressed and vice versa. We can rely on each other enormously, my connection with Rambo is often better than people around me, haha. Golden Retrievers are always very eager to learn, when I got him I quit my job as an executive secretary and started to focus entirely on Rambo. Now, more than four years later, we are an extremely close-knit and strong team!

Niek Uitenbos (Hondenhoek): Does Rambo always live up to his name? Or does your dog sometimes not listen?
Sabine Van Houten: East Indian deaf Rambo is only deaf when he needs a bath or we have to go to the animal doctor, haha. See, even now he is a good listener and knows we are talking about him, haha! Furthermore, he is extremely sensitive to his name and is always very obedient.

Niek Uitenbos (Hondenhoek): How long have you actually been dancing together? And how did you come up with the idea to take up dancing?
Sabine Van Houten: When I was a child I always went dancing. To music at home and ballet at the age of four. Then classical ballet, hip hop, ballroom dancing and I took break dancing lessons for another six months. All this until I was twenty, after which I did my studies in New York and moved back to Leuven to work. Ever since I got Rambo, I started training Rambo to dance with me. Dancing is in my blood, my mother is a competitive dancer, I was really brought up with it! So it really went from hobby to full-time job for me, dancing.

Woof blog news woman dog beach play sunset

Perseverance

Niek Uitenbos (Hondenhoek): How many times a week do you train your dog?
Sabine Van Houten: Depends entirely on whether we have a competition. For example, last week I had a rest week, during a rest week we train on average 2 to 3 times a week. This week there is a big competition for a cash prize, then we will train up to twice a day, 4 hours in total. This is necessary to get full focus. In between training sessions, we go into the woods to run or simply take a walk. Here in Croatia, dogs are always allowed on the beaches, so I take a ball with me and we train on the beach.


Niek Uitenbos (Hondenhoek): How did you start the training? Seems quite difficult to us.
Sabine Van Houten: It is certainly not always easy. But with every dog ​​there is one factor that always helps... Candy, haha! I almost always carry a training pouch with me. I clip this to my pants. This contains small candies and with every successful trick or dance move, Rambo receives a candy. I can definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to start training. Buy a training pouch and start your training! It will definitely help you train your dog!

 

Woof product dog training pouch candy cookie

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