If you and your dog spend a lot more time indoors and exercise much less often during the winter months, you can both enjoy new home exercise routines. There are plenty of videos to get you started – from simple stretches to the beat in dog dance. Training with your dog is a unique opportunity to create a flow of energy between you that strengthens your bond while doing something good for your own and your dog’s physical well-being. Here are some that we think will inspire you to “go with the flow”.
For dog yoga, aptly called doga, try these ancient stretches that will relax and refresh you. Your dogs’ play arcs synchronize with the posture of the downward facing dog, perhaps the most natural posture for all dogs. Doga fans also tell us that there are many benefits in teaching your dog that all parts of his body can be touched, including oversensitive paws and toes. For one, it can make it easier to cut nails. Namaste.
See how it’s done by Nic Bello and his Chihuahua poncho. Bonus: You’re guaranteed to feel more relaxed after hearing Nic’s gentle and soothing invocations to his pup.
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And in the step-by-step instruction video from AnimalWised.
Then take inspiration from this amazing example of Doga from an extremely well trained dog
WORKOUTS / EXERCISES
You may have seen the recent study that exercising or brisk walking for at least 11 minutes a day can reduce “the undesirable health effects of sitting for hours,” which sadly many of us did after Covid-19 year. It also concluded that just 35 minutes of moderate activity or brisk walking per day can extend our lives. Since the message is, we all need to move more. So in addition to getting up and walking with your dog, do some short training sessions. Here are some to inspire you.
For general training sessions, let’s start with Secret, the dog that can do almost anything, including chores and Irish jigs. Her human Mary is a student and an extremely talented dog trainer. You will be amazed at what Secret has mastered. Check them out on Instagram too.
Heather Casey and her two small dogs demonstrate basic Pilates. Looks like they all enjoyed themselves.
Kim, owner of Fitness for Fido, puts us and her dog Ike through their paces in her 10-minute training, in which only a small hurdle and of course many treats for dogs are used. Jump, crouch, hop, crawl, repeat …
Here’s a Doberman who is watching a video of himself and herself exercising together. Not only does it recognize its own movements, it also replicates them. Like a gym bodybuilder counting reps in a mirror, this is a dog entranced by her own routine on a TV screen! Incredible isn’t it?
CANINE FREESTYLE / DOGGIE DANCING
For dancing with your dog, also called canine freestyle, there are hundreds of remarkable examples from the international competitions of this sport. It is possible to attend these amazing performances for days. For us, perhaps less graceful and agile people, this sport is not called “Freestyle” for nothing; Even simple twists and crossings (the dog will go through its legs) would be great fun. To quote David Bowie, “let’s dance … let’s sway.”
Check out the instructional video from PetTrust, a leading humane organization in the UK, to get you started and achieve a performance more suitable for beginners.
Sandra Roth, a ballet and jazz dancer, and her Lizzy have definitely taken this sport to a new level in their winning, artful performance. According to Roth, she and Lizzy got off to a slow start; For the first three years, Roth was more focused on Lizzy’s social behavior than dog sports. But eventually Lizzy gained confidence and began to enjoy the audience’s attention. Her movements – performed some distance from Roth – are breathtaking and she nails the intricate, almost four minute long routine! Watch out for Lizzy’s paw lift at: 33, her high jump at 1:30, her paw / leg grip at 2:03, and the foreleg crosses at 2:58. Gasp!
For heelwork at its finest, check out the perfect synchronicity between Ilina Polina and her dog Ilim in her 2016 routine.