Embracing the Slow Dog Movement, a Journey to Connection and Calmness

Embracing the Slow Dog Movement, a Journey to Connection and Calmness

Davy and I have been savoring a change of pace during our outings in the park lately – intentionally slowing down.  Gone are the days of trying to cover as much ground as possible, constantly checking my watch as we rushed from one corner to another.  Instead, we’ve embraced a new approach inspired by the Slow Dog Movement community, and the difference has been remarkable.

As an avid learner about pets, I'm constantly intrigued by new trends and movements shaping our relationship with our furry companions. Recently, I stumbled upon a social phenomenon that's been quietly gaining momentum worldwide – the Slow Dog Movement. Intrigued, I delved into their online community, and what I discovered left me both inspired and reflective.

At its core, the Slow Dog Movement is a philosophy that encourages dog lovers to embrace the value of slowness in their interactions with their pets. It's about more than just leisurely strolls in the park; it's a holistic approach that promotes ethical values, respectful coexistence within our ecosystem, and a deep understanding of canine physiology and behavior.

Founder Carl Honoré, in his book "In Praise of Slow," beautifully captures the essence of this movement: "The great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquility to make meaningful connections – with people, with culture, with work, and with nature, with our own bodies and minds."

But what does this mean for you and your dog on a practical level? Slowing down with your canine companion entails more than just leisurely walks; it's a deliberate shift in mindset that can have profound benefits for both of you. By embracing a slower pace, you can tap into a deeper connection with your dog, foster their natural behaviors, and enhance their overall well-being.

Imagine the simple joy of sitting together in the park watching the world go by, or enjoying a leisurely picnic lunch under the shade of a tree. Instead of rushing through your daily walk, take the time to notice the little things – the way your dog sniffs curiously at a flower or pauses to greet a passing stranger. These moments of slowness not only enrich your bond with your dog but also allow you to truly appreciate the beauty of the world around you.

I am so excited by this new philosophy that I am incorporating it into my Canine Reactivity Training program. Witnessing these dogs feeling relaxed and staying calm reinforces the power of slowness in our interactions with them.   For some, I can imagine quieter car rides, less pre-walk excitement, more consent to grooming, and a better night’s sleep.  For the pet owner, I can see the resolve that emerges by learning new and useful skills that build a stonger bond.

So, the next time you and your pet venture out for a walk, I invite you to embrace the spirit of slowness. Set aside your busy schedule, leave your phone behind, and immerse yourself fully in the present moment with your furry companion by your side. Trust me; you won't regret it.