Date Published: January 17, 2018, Updated: August 5, 2018 at 3:15 pm, Author: Alice
These past few years, there has been a number of campaigns to get non-Yoga practitioners to join in on the healthy, fitness-inspired fun. Most of them failed, but there is one campaign that succeeded: Puppy Yoga!
It is difficult to trace who started it, but the most documented examples of Puppy Yoga come from Brisbane, where regular practitioners started doing their yoga poses while surrounded by adorable pups. The aim was to get dog lovers to practice yoga by including the dogs in the poses.
Of course, getting your dog to actually join in isn’t as simple most of the time. People, who understand the benefits of yoga, don’t even want to do yoga poses most of the time. So don’t expect dogs to be more receptive. You have to train them into joining you, and you have to make sure you are not harming them.
As with any activity involving your pet, you have to turn it into a fun, enjoyable endeavor by rewarding him for doing things. You can use the same principles employed when taking him for a walk, by first calling his attention and then rewarding him for responding. Then try to gradually include him in your yoga poses then rewarding him afterwards. Over time, the dog may even do it automatically as he will associate yoga poses with reward.
There’s nothing that dogs will respond more favorably to than treats. The best ones to use in this case are chicken treats, which come in either jerky or wafer forms. Dogs love them due to the natural chicken ingredients, and owners will enjoy the fact that they are dry and odor-free, so your dog won’t make you smell like chicken while doing yoga.
It’s easy for some pet owners to willingly forget this, as they find it cute when dogs do “human” things like speak, stand, or wear clothes. But for the purpose of yoga, try to remember that their bodies are different. Don’t try to force them into poses that they don’t want to. Make sure you pose them in ways that are natural for dogs.
Dogs have short attention spans. And they want to do a lot of things at the same time, so try not to take up too much of their time by making sure the yoga sessions are 30 minutes or less. You can make him take breaks or schedule the yoga sessions inbetween other dog activities such as walking and napping.