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Discover Real Dog Yoga: Benefits, Postures, and How to Get Started

Learn about Real Dog Yoga (RDY) and its benefits for your four-legged friend. Explore various postures and discover how to begin with this calming practice. Start your dog’s journey to relaxation and mobility.

Real Dog Yoga for the dog

Did you know that real dog yoga can help our four-legged friends? Yoga is a prevalent practice these days. It helps alleviate health problems, improves muscle tone, reduces stress, and increases body awareness.

RDY or postural education.

Real Dog Yoga (RDY), or ‘postural education, was created by behaviourist Jo Rosie Haffenden and can benefit the dog. It is based on voluntary, controlled movements and awareness.

When body movements and postures are slowed down and maintained briefly, it can stretch the muscles and clear the mind.

Through this exercise, we can help agitated dogs become calm and focused or stiff, and ankylosed dogs gain greater mobility. In addition, there is no risk of overextending the limbs, as could happen if we manually stretch them.

The dog begins exhibiting the same positions outside of work sessions by teaching the dog to maintain certain positions. Even Charles Darwin once said, “The free expression of an emotion, with outward signs, intensifies it”. So, we smile and start being happy, comfortable, relaxed, etc.

Real Dog Yoga. What it includes

Through RDY, you teach your dog to practise specific motor patterns that engage the parasympathetic nervous system and reduce stress. RDY includes 30 postures, 15 actions and ten expressions. The necessary equipment is:

  • A yoga mat (mat) or large beach towel;
  • A bowl of water;
  • Small but soft treats to keep handy;
  • An empty bowl;
  • The dog’s cushion and toys for recreation or breaks;
  • The clicker (only if you are used to using it; otherwise, it is not indispensable);
  • A space large enough and free of obstacles (can be in the middle of the living room or the garden);
  • No dog equipment (no collars or harnesses).

Introduction of the yoga mat or mat. Here’s how to get started:

  • Spread the mat and keep rewards on hand;
  • When the dog approaches the mat, reward verbally (or by clicker) and release food, even if only by sniffing. If the dog is not interested, throw a treat on the mat and invite it to forage for food. Alternatively, again, using the reward, induce the dog onto the mat by guiding it step by step without forcing it. Reward the dog once its paws are on the mat;
  • At this point, throw a reward in another direction so that the dog gets off the mat, and if he returns to the mat, reward him again. Otherwise, invite him to return to the mat.
The real Yoga for your dog.
This is a calming exercise, so we must not create frustration in the dog.

The starting position for natural dog yoga

Spread the mat and keep treats on hand; as soon as the dog approaches the mat, even if only by sniffing, reward verbally (or by clicker) and release food. If the dog is not interested, throw a treat on the mat and invite it to forage for food.

Alternatively, again, using the reward, induce the dog onto the mat by guiding it step by step without forcing it. Reward your dog once his paws are on the mat; then throw a treat in a different direction to get your dog off the mat, and if he returns to the mat, reward him again. Otherwise, invite him back onto the mat to start Position G yoga.

As soon as the dog becomes familiar with the reference mat, it can start the starting position or posture. You can choose between “sitting”, “on the ground”, or “standing”. It is advisable to select the position where the dog is most comfortable.

Then, as we progress through the course and become more familiar with it, we can also introduce other postures. Finally, to encourage the dog to relax, we should try to make him hold the chosen pose for as long as it takes us to take three long breaths.

If this period is too long, we may initially reward our dog even if he only holds the position for one breath. Then, gradually, we can try if he succeeds for the interval of two breaths and finally for the duration of three.

Countering the trend

In the meantime, we need to monitor the dog, his breathing, and posture carefully and see if he slowly starts to relax, maintaining the starting position and attention on us. If we notice that the dog is struggling, throwing a treat outside the mat will allow him to take a break and start again more calmly.

This is a calming exercise, so we must not create frustration in the dog. However, if this should happen, it is a good idea to leave the dog free to move around the session area, causing it to de-stress. Then, try again to reposition the dog.

The positions

The positions envisaged by the RDY are as follows:

SEATED

  • Neck stretching, right and left;
  • Raise the right and then the left paw;
  • Both paws raised.

ON THE FLOOR

  • Neck stretching, right and left;
  • Forward leg, first right, then went;
  • Hip relaxation, first right, then went;
  • Head resting on paws, proper resting, left resting;
  • Legs crossed, right over left;
  • Legs crossed, left over right;
  • Lying on one side and then the other.

STANDING

  • Stretching the neck to the right and left;
  • Stretching the neck by bringing the truffle downwards the truffle upwards;
  • Raising a front paw, first right, then went;
  • Raising a hind leg, first right, then left;
  • Tail up, tail down;
  • Wagging.

To teach all these positions, get the help of an RDY practitioner to help you and your dog reach the intended path serenely.

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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