DOGA: Neck and spine stretches for your dog

Dog yoga or stretching, like massage, is a gift- a time of bonding between owner and pet. Whether it is 2 or 10 minutes, let’s make this worth you and your pup’s time!

Monday 22nd March 2021

Before we introduce some neck and spine stretches, remember these top tips:

  • Always encourage slow and purposeful movements. Be gentle and push your pet beyond what they are willing to do.
  • Let your dog guide you- if they show any concern or discomfort, reduce the movement and retry another day.
  • Consistency is King! A few minutes each day is much more beneficial to your pet than a longer session each week.
  • If you find your pet can’t do something they have done well before, then speak to your vet or your veterinary physio!

Neck and spine stretches for your dog

  • Simple exercises to stretch the spine, neck, shoulder and back muscles.
  • Start with 1-2 second stretch each side. Reward in neutral (centre) position.
  • Repeat: 2-3 times on each side.


Neck Stretch

  1. This exercise can be carried out either in standing or sitting position. Use a treat to lure your dog’s head straight up slowly. Make sure your dog does not jump up.
  2. Then lure the dog’s head straight down between the front legs. Keep the spine straight and strive for purposeful movements.

Neck Side Stretch

  1. In a sitting position, use a treat to lure your dog’s head straight up slowly. Make sure your dog does not jump up.
  2. Then lure your dog’s head down to the side. The stretch should come from the shoulders and neck. Try to avoid bending the lower spine. Stretch on both sides.

Spine Side Stretch

  1. This exercise needs to be carried out in standing position. Use a treat to lure your dog’s head straight out. Strive for an extended reach without moving its feet.
  2. Slowly lure the dog’s head toward the hip. The dog will bend in a C-shape, but movement depends on flexibility. Stretch as far as you can while keeping your dog’s front legs planted in the same position. Stretch on both sides.

Check back here later, for our passive and active stretches for the front and back legs.

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