In this article, I’ll tell you why dogs have a habit of stretching extensively every time they get out of a resting situation or they have slept. You will also learn what this behavior means, when your dog shows this behavior and, above all, what variations there are.
It is really really important that you know the differences in this flexion, because one of its variants is the sign of a possible emergency (bowel obstruction, stomach torsion), which can quickly be fatal . So you can see that it is not only exciting to acquire more dog knowledge and understand your dog better, but this information can really help you and your dog.
In any case, during my research I have found again that I learn something new about dogs every day and that I can never get enough of it. I hope you feel the same way. Have fun while reading!
Good morning yoga
When our dog gets up in the morning, the same program always follows: there is extensive yawning. He gets up and it is stretched loooooong. First the front. Then the back. The ritual is crowned with a complete body shake.
With Pixie this is followed by an awake “Ok, we can go!” Look, a slight grin which is accompanied by a short tail. My day couldn’t start any better!
But why do dogs do this?
This stretching is actually a deeply ingrained instinct inherited from their ancestors – the wolves.
Wolves stretch to activate and warm up their muscles, to stimulate blood circulation and to switch from resting mode to active mode.
Because there could always be a prey or an enemy nearby to react to. If you are fighting for your survival and do not want to starve, then evolution has made sure that the wolves that stretched always had an advantage over the others.
In Barbara Handelman’s book “Dog Behavior”, she also mentions that this stretching also relaxes the body. Completely logical: After all of the body tension, of course, there is again relaxation.😉
Stretching dogs has inspired yogis
Those who have done yoga before are of course familiar with the two positions of ” looking up ” and ” looking down ” dog. They are part of the sun salutation, totally famous by sight, as everyone immediately recognizes that this person is doing yoga in the position and both poses are practiced in just about any form of yoga and the complete stretching of the whole body is copied from the dogs. So the name is not a coincidence, because the movement is really copied from the dogs.
Both positions were practiced by Swami Kuvalayananda as a sequence of exercises around 1930 and passed on to his students. They then taught the founders of Iyengar Yoga (BKS Iyengar) and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (Pattabhi Jois), among others. ( Source Wikipedia ) ( source yoga journal ) and if we all performed these two positions a few times in the morning with as much pleasure and leisure as our dogs did, then it would certainly have a positive influence on our day and our well-being.