Walking, Running and Sitting as Yoga for Dogs with Anxiety

Yoga is highly recommended for anyone who suffers from anxiety. Much of the reason is to work with quieting the mind but another benefit is the focus on breathing. Which in turn brings a quieting of the mind.

So in the case of the dog who suffers anxiety why wouldn’t this be the same? And how on earth would you get an anxious or nervous dog to practice yoga?

Yoga for Dogs

We humans immediately think of yoga as being able to do a headstand or hold a tree pose. Not exactly the picture you can carry for your dog to attain. So how can yoga apply to dogs?

Break down the yoga portion of breathing. The simple act of taking more oxygen in. It is calming to the body and the mind. For a dog that means they need to move. Whether it be a walk, jog or run get outside and get your dog moving. Make home made jumps out of two boxes and a broom. Anything you can come up with to get your dog moving.

The movement will increase oxygen intake. It will pull your dog’s mind into something else to focus on rather than going into a panic attach about being left alone, or nervous about people she doesn’t know coming to your home, and a myriad of other reasons dogs react with anxiety.

The Habit of Sitting for Dogs

While on one of these movement outings find a place to just sit with your dog. Practice sitting for minutes at at time. It’s a good time for you to focus on your breath and your dog will start to find the peace of just sitting with you as well.

Dogs who are anxious have to practice just sitting. Sitting quietly isn’t coming naturally to the the anxious dog, so the more time you spend in this state with your dog, the easier it will be for your dog to start to enjoy the feeling of calm and practice all on her own.


Start with small sessions. It is the very first thing you can do to make this a long standing habit.

  • Do a 10 minute walk or run 3 times this week with your dog.
  • Practice sitting with your dog somewhere other than in your home on the couch while you are watching TV 3 times this week for at least 10 minutes.
  • The best time to add the sitting is some where in the walk or run!  Don’t forget to enjoy your surroundings while you are out there.
  • Write a note in the comments on your plans to get your dog moving  3 times this week.
  • Note if you plan to walk or run.
  • Note where you plan to sit that is different than normal to disconnect for the buzz of electronics for you.
  • Writing down what you plan to puts your subconscious into action!
  • If you need more support I am here.

Give your dog the gift of learning how to settle and be content without the thought of anxiety in the moments you create with this exercise. You’ll find yourself adding more time to this mini mission. It’s a fabulous habit.

Jt Clough lives on the Big Island, Hawaii, and practices health, happiness and natural remedies, while working as a Habits Coach for people looking to live healthier and happier lives.  She is a dog whisperer for our best friends; and studies natural dog remedies, nutrition and communication.  Her latest e-book is 5K Training Guide | Running with Dogs.


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