Your dog (and you!) could find relief in Real Dog Yoga™, as developed by Jo-Rosie Haffenden. (Yes! Yoga for dogs. Not Doga!).
Dog Yoga is based on the idea, supported by research, that physical posturing and expressions can influence a dog's emotional state.
During this unique program, your dog will learn how to practise a set of postures, movements and expressions, in order to relax, calm down and cope with the inevitable stressors of modern dog life.
All the postures and movements we teach during Dog Yoga sessions, are behaviours our dogs would do naturally. However, the benefit of Dog Yoga lies in how and when your dog learns to apply them: the sets become your dog's “go-to” behaviours in times of stress, because they experience them as self-soothing, relaxing and calming.
Health: Your dog is in good health, parasite free, and either up-to-date with their C5 vaccinations (DHP: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus; Kennel Cough: Parainfluenza, Bordatella), or has recently had a positive titre test result for the above.
Behaviour: Your dog does not display aggressive behaviour towards unfamiliar dogs or people. If you are unsure if your dog can attend the group sessions, give us a call to discuss or book a Private Dog Yoga Session.
a copy of your dog's most recent vaccination certificate or titre test result
a yoga mat or a beach towel
soft, moist treats, in tiny pieces
a doggy treat pouch for your dog's treats
your own doggy poo bags
Dog Yoga learnings
The Dog Yoga Environment & Protocol - Option-Based Training
Our focus for week 1 will be: understanding the underlying concepts and principles of Dog Yoga, and developing the necessary techniques to teach our dog this unique training program.
Jo-Rosie Haffenden specifically developed the Real Dog Yoga™ training protocol to be as force free as possible. Her option-based training approach, by design, immediately lowers stress levels in dogs, because it establishes a clear and consistent mode of two-way, non-verbal communication between the dog and their person.
As a result of being able to “speak their mind”, dogs feel more and more empowered and less frustrated and stressed. They can now express themselves clearly using the following options:
I come onto the mat = I want to join in
I move out of position or off of the mat = I want to take a break
I walk away = I've had enough and want to end this session
We'll also discuss basic dog body language, practise techniques such as clicker training and discuss other ways to “Cultivate Calmness” in our dogs. And, finally, you'll learn how to set up your Dog Yoga training environment at home, so you can continue to practise throughout the coming 4 weeks and thereafter.
Dog Yoga Base Postures
This week our focus will be on further developing our dog's' ability to take and hold the 3 Dog Yoga base positions or postures:
Sit for 3 breaths
Down for 3 breaths
Stand for 3 breaths
We will then progress to teach a specific movement related to the “Sit” base posture.
Depending on the level of progress of our canine and human students during class, we might teach additional movements in relation to this or other base postures.
In order to get the benefits of Real Dog Yoga™: always work at your dog's pace to avoid frustration and stress, and keep the sessions enjoyable and relaxing.
To close off our week 2 session, we'll invite our dogs to enjoy a relaxing massage.
Dog Yoga Movements & Applications
This week our entire focus will be on how we teach a set of movements related to a specific Dog Yoga base posture, and how we can apply these going forward, to help our dogs relax and be calm when faced with a stressful situation.
Again, we always practise at the pace of our dogs, so criteria will vary depending on where we are up to as a team, in relation to the Real Dog Yoga™ course curriculum:
Set of Movements from Sit base posture
Set of Movements from Down base posture
Set of Movements from Stand base posture
To close off our week 3 session, we'll have a brief discussion (while we massage our puppies ;-), about other factors that could possibly influence our dog's behaviour (nutrition, exercise, environment, social referencing… etc.).
Dog Yoga Expressions & Applications
In our final week of Dog Yoga Class, our focus will be on how we can best teach the most challenging elements of Real Dog Yoga™, the expressions. These can be difficult to capture and shape, and usually take a while for our dogs to learn to do on cue. How do we do it?
How do we capture an expression
How do we shape an expression
How do we put it all together: postures, movements and expressions
To close off our final week, we'll have a Q&A session about how we can best manage our dogs lives so they can experience more calm and relaxing moments, to further minimise the potential for stress and anxiety. We'll also discuss: “Where we go from here?”
And last but not least, we'll be acknowledging and celebrating our team's achievements over these past 4 weeks, by handing out your Dog Yoga Class Certificates!