Monday, January 26, 2015

#SuperDogSunday: Active Minds and Bodies

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
 photo Half moon Oliver Stands.Nibbles_zpsycm4myjz.jpg
Doga Workout: Good for Us All!
Here at All Things Dog Blog we've got our own funky way of dealing with #SuperDogSunday. Many would say we're nuts, but the dogs and I enjoy our mental and physical activity in lots of fun ways--often with #doga--yoga with the dogs.

In order to share some of our silliness with you, hubs shots some pics of our adventure through two or three simple poses. Oliver did some great stretching, balancing and twirling, Tanner worked on his self restraint by leaving the treats alone, even when I placed them on the floor in front of his toes, and both boys practiced running in for the Doga session when I called "Come!". Football players do something similar at the opening of the Super Bowl, but they aren't so lucky as to be rewarded with Zuke's treats:

When the dogs and I are well worked out, we'll be ready for the big game and all that sitting. I'll admit I'm not one to jump up and cheer unless the Packers are playing, which sadly, they are not. They did come very close, but not close enough. Meanwhile, the dogs are all dressed out for the game and ready to run in and kick off some fun:

While we watch the game the dogs will likely be snoozing after their doga workout. Especially Oliver, whose balancing twirls can sometimes get a bit tiring. Tanner tires out more easily these days, pushing onward toward age 9 now. I like giving him treats that are good for his joints, since Retrievers are prone to hip displaysia. That's why one of his favorites is Hip Action with Glucosamine and Chondroitin. So far so good for this boy's hips. He continues to swim regularly and we keep his weight on the light side to assure there's no stress on those joints. Hip Hip Hurray for Zuke's Hip Action!

Watch for more doga fun, rewarded by Zuke's treats, coming soon. And don't forget to RSVP to join the party. We hope to see you all on Thursday evening at 8 PM ET, when we'll be handing out more than $750 in Zuke's treats. Be sure to bring your active pet pics to share. We love seeing your pups in action! In addition, you can enter our pre-game #giveaway here.

Here's to #SuperDogSunday,

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As a member of the Event Barkers team, I'm offering this Twitter Party information as a part of our work with Zuke's to share information about their products. You'll find these details and more on our partners' websites: and These events are open to US households and entrants age 18 and older.Void where prohibited.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ask the Doga Instructor: Part 4

Nikki B. and Jess Pass the Test
Welcome back to our Ask the Doga Instructor interview. Today I'm asking Jess for more help on getting our dogs comfortable with and involved in our practice. Let's see what she has to say:

CARRIE:  Till now, I’ve more or less taken charge of helping my readers try various methods of getting their dogs involved. Aside from luring Fido with a treat, what are your top tips for getting a pup comfortable with the activity happening on the mat, and further, getting involved in it along with us?

JESS: Nothing is more reassuring and comforting to animals than routine and consistency. Nikki B. has been joining me for yoga for such a long time that she is not anxious when watching me. The keys are frequency of practice and trust. If you begin practicing yoga once a month, or just once in a great while, your dog will not respond appropriately because he or she will not understand what’s going on; it will be too new and too different than your usual routine. 

If you begin practicing yoga every day for 15 minutes, however, and then gradually add more time to your daily practice, your dog will recognize this as a new routine and will be more apt to join in, because with routine and consistency comes comfort and trust. Start your practice by changing the entire ambience of the room; dim the lights, soften the music, open the windows (weather permitting), maybe even light some candles—out of reach of your dogs. Anything that you consistently do to begin your practice will help your dog understand that this is time for yoga; it is time to be on the mat and bond with you.  This sets the stage for your new routine.

We Finally Did It!
Once you have set the tone for yoga, gently set up your mat and your props (with some of your furry friends’ favorite treats nearby) and get yourself into a comfortable position for establishing that deep belly breathing pattern. This will all help to reassure your dog that this a happy, enjoyable time, and that you are welcoming him or her to join you. Start with simple, flowing poses that require little movement. Gradually move onto more challenging, physically involved poses that require more movement and involvement from your dog(s); then end your practice with more simple, resting poses. Keep in mind that some days, your dog will want to be more involved in your practice and on other days, he or she may not want to be very involved in your practice at all; that’s perfectly okay! Dogs have their moods and their attitudes change just like you and I do, and we have to honor that and respect that, or we will not get their respect in return.

Never force your dog into a pose, either; instead, always offer a place on your mat for your dog to lie down or sit, and reward them for participating in your practice, but never punish them for not participating. The key is in waiting for your dog to be ready. When he or she is completely comfortable with your activity, and trusts that this is a safe, happy experience, they’ll surprise you and join in without an invitation. That’s when you know you have truly gained a doga partner! 

Notes from Carrie:

Don't forget to offer a treat when your dog joins in, to cement the memory with a positive reinforcer. With #SuperDogSunday right around the corner, Tanner and Oliver are looking forward to noshing on a Z-Filet from @ZukesPets! Check out our Event Barkers Twitter Party and ways to win US-made natural treats at the link.

Also, be sure to check out our series of short, instructional doga videos and other helpful posts that share tips on modifying your practice to suit your needs. You'll find all this and more at our Doga page, where our focus is on helping you bond with your dog through yoga.
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If you're new to Doga or Yoga, please be sure to do these three things: (1) Get your doctor's permission to start this or any other workout, (2) Check with your vet to make sure your dog is able to participate in simple Doga exercises safely, and (3) visit our introductory post where I've outlined a few tips that will help your experience go more smoothly and enjoyable. Keep in mind that you can always stop if a pose is uncomfortable, returning to a more relaxing pose for you.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

#FidosFreebieFriday Heads for the Super Bowl

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

The All Things Dog Blog crew is saddened by the loss of our Green Bay Packers this past weekend, but the boys are not going to let that deter them from wearing their true colors at #SuperDogSunday, our Event Barkers Twitter Party that celebrate our active pups with Zuke's treats, coming up on January 29. Be sure to check out the pre-event giveaway below.

Now let's get to today's Fido's Freebie Friday. Bloggers are invited to list below their currently open giveaways, freebies, and prizes for pets and pet lovers so that readers may visit and explore items to win. You can help to get more awareness by sharing the badge you see in the top of my post. Feel free to put it in your sidebar, if you wish, but don't feel obligated.

Fido's Freebie Friday opens each Thursday afternoon for linkups at 4:00 PM ET, and renews each week at the same time with a new listing.  Link up anytime during the week--24/7. We make it easy to be seen here by keeping our rules simple:

•You have up to 45 characters to describe your prize and include an expiration date.

•Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop is open to posts with prizes for pet products or services, including pet-related or pet-themed items for owners. Use your specific post url to link up.
You'll find assistance at our HELP PAGE, where there is other useful information for bloggers doing giveaways and reviews. Your hosts are All Things Dog Blog, DogTipper and To Dog With Love

As you peruse the listings below, be sure to take note that the #FidoSeeFidoDo treat giveaway has low entries. If your dog is Jonesing for some us-made treats, check that one out for sure!

Happy hunting! 

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Individual rules of entry and guidelines for winning may apply to each listing. All Things Dog Blog, DogTipper, and To Dog With Love take no responsibility for the legality of the rules governing the listings on other sites and giveaways that are posted here. We simply provide this forum as a gathering place for pet product giveaways to be offered. Please consult All Things Dog Blog's Giveaway and Contest Rules for more detail. Fulfillment of each giveaway is done by the blog conducting the giveaway, not by the hosts of this giveaway hop; please contact the giveaway host with any questions regarding a giveaway or giveaway prize.
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