‘The #slowdogmovement aims to foster deeper relationships between dogs and humans, educate by ‘showing the right way’ (Turid Rugaas), and grow a like minded worldwide community of dog lovers embracing the value of SLOW.’
The Slow Dog Movement® was originally created as a Facebook community page. A landing pad to share photos, thoughts, and insight into slowing down with dogs. Many dogs, like the people who live with them, are living much more complicated lives than ever before in history. There are other movements, such as The Slow Movement and The Slow Food Movement that encourage humans to slow down and enjoy each moment of travelling, eating and being. This group has a similar focus, but for the benefit of dogs. It’s not a joke.
As we hurry through our lives, our dogs often get pulled at a fast pace too. We either bring them to loud festivals or on jogs and bike rides with us or leave them at home. Either way is not pleasant for our canine friends. This group’s aim is to inspire, share and educate as many people as possible to simply BE with their dogs as well as provide positive experiences for them. Enrichment, slow walking, calm social activities, and many other ideas are part of it.
A caveat, while the #slowdogmovement is all about learning to slow down with your dog, this does not mean that dogs can’t have fun and run about or engage in fast play. It’s all about keeping the fast activities shorter than people are used to and doing a warm up and cool down or ‘…calm activities on either side…’ of being speedy. [Dr Amber Batson, Understand Animals] It’s also integral to provide dogs with choices in many elements of their life. If we provide choices, it is also necessary to understand what your dog is telling you with their body language.
As the ‘Resources‘ tab on this site grows, you will find many articles, links and videos that help you to navigate the philosophy and science behind the #slowdogmovement as well as other educational information about dogs.
Examples of slowing down with your dog:
– Sit with/beside your dog more often
– Sleep near/with them
– Eat with them near and be near them when they eat
– Involve them in calm activities, just to be close to you while you garden, read, do crafts, cook
– Just DO NOTHING with your dog, at home, in nature, in the forest, at the beach etc.
– Sit and watch the world go by with them. Make sure that people/dogs aren’t walking directly towards your dog when you do this!
– Provide natural parkour and enriched environments for your dog – To relieve stress, engage their bodies/muscles appropriately and utilise their brains and problem solving abilities
– Observe your dog in a loving, respectful and curious way
– Really pay attention to your connection with your dog, be present and grow your relationship and bond with them by giving them choices on where to walk, what to chew etc.
– Forest bathe with your dog (see the blog post on this subject)
– Use a well fitted harness and a long leash. At least 3m long. This allows your dog to move freely, be comfortable and communicate with ease.
– Allow your dog to lead on walks as long as this is a safe option. This will build your dog’s confidence and grow the bond between you. Plus, it is a joy to see where your dog will lead you!
– Let your have as much choice as possible in his/her life as possible. With food, treats, sleeping places, walking direction, friends, saying hello (or not), lying down, stopping on a walk, sniffing and the list goes on. Command your dog at a bare minimum or not at all. Try to build trust between you and your dog so that your dog takes responsibility for her/his actions.
– Visit a dedicated indoor enrichment facility, enclosed field with enrichment elements OR learn about building enrichment into your dog’s life from this website’s Resources page or Google searches. You can create small enriched environments in your home, garden and on the walk.
We all have something to share.
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