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Yoga With Dogs: What It Is, Benefits & FAQ

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

dog and yoga

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and new yoga trends will pop up from time to time. One fascinating yoga trend is yoga with dogs, or Doga. Doga combines the physical and mental health benefits of yoga and pet therapy to provide a wonderful experience for both humans and dogs.

Yoga with dogs comes in a couple of different forms, and you can find versions that are appropriate for all levels of experience. So, you don’t have to worry if you and your dog are new to the world of yoga with dogs. We’ll go over everything you need to know about this activity and how you and your dog can participate together.

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How Does It Work?

Yoga with dogs appeared in the early 2000s. It was started by yoga teacher Suzi Teitelman. Teitelman created a form of yoga that both humans and dogs could enjoy together. Yoga with dogs courses can include yoga poses that dogs can learn along with socialization time for dogs while people do their yoga poses.

Some yoga studios will provide yoga with dogs sessions. However, it can be challenging to find classes that take place regularly, as these types of classes are often scheduled as special events. If there aren’t any yoga with dogs classes near you, you can always look up yoga instructors that provide virtual sessions. There are also plenty of pre-recorded videos that give you step-by-step instructions on doing simple yoga poses with your dog.

Dog Owner Yoga with Dog
Image Credit: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

What Are the Different Types of Yoga With Dogs?

There are two main types of yoga with dogs. The first type is participating in a yoga class that also has dogs in it. Your yoga instructor will lead you through a series of poses and exercises and let the dogs move about freely in the classroom. The dogs don’t have to participate in any of the exercises and can choose to socialize with each other or interact with people in the class. Some yoga instructors will allow you to bring your own dog, while others may reserve the classes for their own dogs. So, it’s important to ask in advance to see if the yoga class is also open for your own dog to attend.

Another type of yoga with dogs incorporates poses and stretches designed for dogs. This type of yoga is more about engaging in an activity with your dog rather than having your dog socialize with other dogs. It requires more deliberate interaction with you and your dog and is often a good fit for dogs that love to learn new tricks. Your yoga instructor will walk you through teaching your dog some basic poses that often challenge their balancing skills or encourage stretching. Once your dog gets the hang of it, you can do these poses and stretches together.

Where Is It Used?

Yoga with dogs can be used in a variety of settings. The most common type of yoga with dogs includes taking a yoga class with dogs in them. This type of dog yoga class focuses on allowing dogs to socialize with other dogs and let people experience the benefits of pet therapy. Much research has been done on the therapeutic benefits of dogs. For example, dogs can help relieve stress and anxiety. They can also help raise oxytocin, which is known as the “love hormone,” and help promote positive feelings. So, simply being in the same room with dogs can be a mood booster, and yoga with dogs classes can help facilitate these types of therapeutic environments.

Yoga with dogs can also be used to enhance a dog’s physical and mental health. It can help reduce stress for dogs and can be a good way to help them improve muscle mass and boost joint health. Dogs that are recovering from certain injuries can benefit from doing gentle yoga stretches. Just make sure to consult with your veterinarian first to ensure that yoga with dogs is appropriate and safe for your dog during their recovery.

Dog Owner Doing Yoga
Image Credit: Egrigorovich, Shutterstock

Advantages of Yoga With Dogs

Yoga with dogs can benefit people because of the therapeutic effects that dogs can have on humans. It can also add extra fun and a few surprises to your usual yoga routine. Dogs can also benefit from yoga with dogs because of the socialization and exercise opportunities. These types of yoga classes enable dogs to meet with other dogs and get to know other people besides their owners.

Classes that enable you to bring your own dog also allow you to spend more quality time with your dog in a relaxed environment. They’re a great way to engage in an activity together and enjoy each other’s company. This can result in strengthening your bond with your dog.

Disadvantages of Yoga With Dogs

One of the main disadvantages of yoga with dogs is the unpredictability. If you prefer more focused yoga sessions, yoga with dogs probably won’t suit your tastes. We can’t control how a dog will behave in a yoga class. Some dogs may be relaxed, while others may be excited to meet new people and try to interact with them while they’re in the middle of doing a pose. It’s best to go into a yoga with dogs class with the expectation that you’ll get interrupted from time to time throughout the session.

Some dogs may also simply not be interested in learning new yoga poses. Just like humans have unique interests, dogs will show preference for the activities they like to engage in. So, there’s the chance that your dog won’t pick up yoga as a hobby. Since there are many different ways to exercise, socialize, and spend time with your dog, there’s no need to force dogs to engage in yoga with dogs. If your dog has tried a few sessions and doesn’t show interest, it’s best to find a different activity that you can enjoy together.

Woman Dog Owner Doing Yoga
Image Credit: GalacticDreamer, Shutterstock

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is yoga with dogs ethical?

As yoga with dogs has become more popular, some concerns about ethical practices have risen. Overall, it’s important to ensure you’re taking yoga with dog classes from ethical instructors. There have been some cases in which people will take advantage of the appeal of puppies to attract more customers, which results in yoga classes with unethical practices. These types of cases often involve inhumane treatment of puppies, such as not providing adequate amounts of water for the puppies and forcing them to interact with people.

So, make sure to do your research before attending a new yoga with dogs class. Don’t hesitate to ask the instructor questions about how the dogs will participate in the class. It’s a red flag if the instructor isn’t open to answering questions or gives vague answers.

Why do dogs’ behaviors change when they’re around people doing yoga?

Dogs will react differently to yoga with dogs. Some dogs may be aware of and attuned to the relaxed environment in yoga classes and may mirror the calmness in the classroom. Other dogs may react with excitement or curiosity because they’ve never seen people doing strange poses before. Most dogs will calm down over time as they continue to be exposed to yoga with dogs.

Young Woman Doing Yoga with Dog Owner
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Is yoga with dogs a good form of socialization for puppies?

Yoga with dogs can be a good way to socialize puppies. However, it won’t be appropriate for all puppies. Some puppies that are shyer and more reserved may find yoga with dogs classes too stressful because of the large number of both people and dogs in attendance. Another factor to consider is that classes may not separate puppies by size, so smaller puppies may feel overwhelmed by larger ones. It’s also worth noting that yoga with dogs classes probably won’t have a professional dog trainer or behaviorist on hand. So, there’s a good chance that there won’t be much supervision over the puppies’ interactions.Divider-Dog Paw and Bone- New


Overall, yoga with dogs has the potential to be a fun activity that you can enjoy with your dog. It can have many physical and therapeutic benefits and help strengthen the bond between you and your dog. So, if you’re looking for a new and fresh hobby to share with your dog, consider learning a few Doga poses together. Yoga with dogs just might be a new way for you and your dog to enjoy spending time together and keeping each other healthy.

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Featured Image Credit: Soloviova Liudmyla, Shutterstock

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