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Mindfulness for Dogs

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Below are just a few ways you can change be mindful in how you approach training with your dog to ensure you both get the most out of the experience. From the human perspective, a ‘must love dogs’ social initiative has been suggested as a potential solution to loneliness experienced by senior Australian citizens living alone prior to the pandemic [ 11], and dog ownership was recently shown to be protective against loneliness for people living alone during COVID-19-related lockdowns in Australia [ 12]. However, Oliva and Johnston relied on cross-sectional data and the reliability of the scale used to measure frequency of dog interactions did not reach an acceptable level, which may reflect issues with its sensitivity.

Over time (perhaps a long time), the skill set will transfer and you will find yourself able to be calmer in proximity to other dogs and this will help your dog to relax too. From a qualitative perspective, we also explored how the experience of a DAM intervention compares with a DI intervention over a six-week study period.Ensuring our dogs are comfortable and taking their emotions and health into consideration are great ways to help us work in harmony with our dogs and support them when they need it, rather than constantly fighting against these things and creating an unpleasant situation for both dog and handler. Yet, beneath their diverse appearances lies a shared language—a way of communication that invites us to delve into the mindful art of understanding. Note: The emotional closeness sub-scale ranges from range from 1–5 with higher scores indicating higher emotional closeness, mindfulness scores range between 14–56 with higher scores indicating higher mindfulness, UCLA-LS scores range between 3–12 with higher scores indicating higher loneliness, the 1-item measure of loneliness ranges from 1–4, with higher scores indicating higher loneliness. As such, given the circumstances during which the study was conducted, we can potentially learn more about the impact of the interventions through the analysis of this intervention-specific qualitative data, than the quantitative data which might be subject to masking effects from the global pandemic situation. He is an awesome dog and we have all made so much progress since our sessions with Darran and continue on the work ahead.

As expected, following the random allocation of participants to their group, there was no significant effect of group on any variable.

For the sake of presenting a summary, only those themes that were endorsed at a rate of 10% or greater for three or more weeks have been included in each Table.

Multiple aspects of modern life have dulled our ability to focus opens in a new tab for longer periods of time. These are quiet, settling enrichment toys that will stop them from thinking that you getting onto the floor is the start of a great game and that they should leap all over you! Qualitative analyses revealed common experiences among participants in the two active interventions, including enhanced owner–dog connection, and feelings of relaxation, happiness and engagement both during and after participating in the weekly activities. This theme was endorsed less in the later three activities, but this may be due to the fact that these were more calm activities where outward displays of happiness such as tail wagging, jumping, barking, etc. Although, it is difficult to know if the restless behaviour observed during talk time was in response to their owner’s feelings of discomfort with this task.This highlights important differences between the individual tasks, and their relative effects on both owner and dog, in each group. The non-significant group × time interaction in relation to loneliness is in line with findings by Oliva and Johnston [ 12] who found that frequency of dog interactions were unrelated to loneliness scores. The sample size for each question included participants who provided responses that loaded on these themes, as well as responses that did not load on these main themes but that still provided an appropriate response to the question. Start by focusing on your breath – count your breathes in and out, and focus on each of the four parts of the breath (in, pause, out, pause) Each repeat should help calm your mind and bring your focus to your body and to the here and now. It can even be punishing for our dogs: think about how it feels when you’re expecting something really good to happen and then it doesn’t.

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