Home Magazine

Dog, Meet Yoga

By David13676

Dog, meet yogaBrunswick, Me — Starting in January, four lucky dog owners will have the opportunity to learn about the power of “Doga,” a marriage of yoga for humans and obedience training for dogs.

The class is one of the many upcoming features in the Coastal Humane Society’s new Canine Behavior Modification and Enrichment Program, which is being overseen by Sara Sokol, a behavior and training coordinator who was hired in October.

Sokol on Monday said the enrichment program is designed to improve the lives and behavior of dogs while they await adoption and decrease the likelihood owners will return them because of behavior issues.

“My biggest goal coming in here was to not only make the dogs more adoptable, but find kind of better fits for the dogs and the adopters,” Sokol said. “And not only that, but make the time that the dogs are with us as good as it can be.”

A portion of the program consists of creating activities that will stimulate and occupy dogs during their daily lives, Sokol said. This includes feeding them food that is contained within paper towel tubes or hollow plastic container that creates something of a time-consuming challenge for the dogs to fully consume.

Sokol said there also will be a “scent of the day” and a “sound of the day.”

“They’re getting a different CD every day, mostly classical music,” Sokol said. “There have been studies that have shown classical music helps reduce anxiety for kennel dogs.”

In addition, a new color-coding program for all the dogs will make it easier for kennel volunteers to assess what techniques they should use when improving a certain dog’s behavior.

“It basically categorizes dogs based on the behaviors that they’re exhibiting while they’re in the kennel,” Sokol said, “and it gives the volunteers really good direction on how to work on that behavior.”

Jane Siviski, the shelter’s marketing and development coordinator, said this is the first time the shelter has had a full-time behavior and training coordinator, and it’s already making a difference for the dogs.

“I think the consistency for the animals is very important,” Siviski said. She said the shelter took in 200 surrendered dogs this year due to financial, commitment or behavior issues, and they hope the new program and courses can reverse the trend.

Besides the daily enrichment activities for the dogs, Sokol also will teach several obedience classes starting in January, including her unique “Doga” program.

Sokol, who is a certified yoga instructor, said the class will combine yoga and stretching for humans and obedience cues and massages for dogs. She said this is unlike other forms of “Doga,” where the dog is sometimes put into yoga positions that might be too uncomfortable.

“When people work with their dogs a lot of the time, they get really frustrated,” Sokol said. “… What I found with the ‘Doga’ classes, people were breathing, they were taking their time, they were being calmed and relaxed and they started noticing when they were calm and relaxed, their dog was calm and relaxed.”

Sokol, who designed the course, said it worked wonders for dogs and their owners during the year she taught it California.

“For me it’s a really good class that helps strengthen the human-animal bond,” Sokol said, “because it’s a nice hour to spend with your dog.”

~ Courtesy of The Forecaster

Tags: dog yoga, obedience training


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • BEHOLD: The Most EXPENSIVE DOG Tiara in the WORLD!

    Kanune, a male Maltese wears a $4.2 Million Dollar Dog Tiara | Reuters/Corbis In a global economy where the recession still exists, DOGS are still living the... Read more

    The 31 May 2013 by   Hausofpaws
    HOME, PETS
  • The Top 5 Designer Dog Accessories of 2013

    Make your dog stand out from the crowd by buying some of the hottest dog accessories of 2013, some of them are a little weird but others can be quite... Read more

    The 14 May 2013 by   Alison_wood
    HOME, PETS
  • Dog Graduates Ready to Give a Helping Paw

    There was not a dry eye in the house when Lissa Vollmar, the keynote speaker at Thursday night’s spring graduation of the Assistance Dogs for Achieving... Read more

    The 14 May 2013 by   David13676
    HOME, PETS
  • Service Dog up for Hero Award

    KENAI, Alaska — It was President’s Day last year, and the 60-year-old was walking along the Kenai River’s south beach in a gale, snow and sand particles whippin... Read more

    The 15 May 2013 by   David13676
    HOME, PETS
  • Wayne: The Cat Who Thinks He’s a Dog

    Cats are amazing and interesting animals. They do whatever they want, whenever they want, and they decide when it’s time for you to give them attention. Read more

    The 21 May 2013 by   Alison_wood
    HOME, PETS
  • ‘Glee’s’ Lynch and Dog Go to Bat for Shelter Mutts

    Jane Lynch doesn’t mind being upstaged by her latest co-star, Olivia — after all she “has no bad side, she is always ready to pose and she sits perfectly still... Read more

    The 21 May 2013 by   David13676
    HOME, PETS
  • Marine, Dog Reunited in Surprise Ceremony

    When Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach served as a dog handler in Afghanistan, he told the yellow lab who was his constant companion that he’d look her up when he... Read more

    The 23 May 2013 by   David13676
    HOME, PETS

Add a comment