Exercising with your dog doesn’t have to mean a long walk around the block or a hike on a trail. If outside is too hot or too cold and inside is just right, why not try doga — yoga for dogs. Let’s learn more.
The Purpose of Doga
When you first think of dogs doing yoga, you may imagine trying to get your dog to maneuver into different yoga-like poses. However, doga isn’t usually focused on training your dog to do yoga poses — it’s about bonding with your dog while you do yoga. The main purpose of doga is to spend time with your dog and strengthen your bond with them. It could simply be both of you quietly sitting or lying together — whatever is comfortable for your dog.
How to Do Doga
How your dog would like to participate in doga should be left up to them, so start your yoga sequence and see how they respond. Some dogs like to lie next to your mat the entire time. Others like to get up close and personal with you, sniffing and watching you move into different poses. You could try incorporating them into your poses by giving them a belly rub on the way down to the floor or massaging their ears while you’re in a sitting pose. They may even like to lie under you — but we don’t mean getting squished! Think downward dog or mountain pose and making a bridge over your dog.
Is a Doga Class Right for Your Dog?
If your dog is socialized well and enjoys doing yoga with you at home, you could try taking them to a doga class. It can be a great socialization experience for them; however, you should consider your dog’s behavior and social skills before attending a class. A dog that isn’t very obedient or hasn’t been socialized well probably shouldn’t attend a doga class. They may have a hard time staying focused on their human and not the other dogs and humans in the class, which can be distracting for everyone. An at-home doga session is probably best for these dogs.
Before you attend a doga class, ask if they have any size or breed limitations or expectations on how dogs should behave. That way you know what to expect and can be sure your dog will fit in. Of course, you could get there and your dog doesn’t respond well to the class, and that’s OK. You can keep doing doga at home with just the two of you.
Yoga with your dog can be a great way to relax, unwind and bond with your favorite canine. Yogatta try it!
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