Puppy yoga relaxes people but stresses dogs, say opponents

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The police and safety board NVWA are monitoring the new craze for taking yoga classes with puppies after claims the trend is causing the animals stress.

An animal welfare check at the weekend did not find any signs of animal abuse but the NVWA will continue to monitor the situation, according to the Telegraaf.

Puppy yoga is an international trend that arrived in Amsterdam earlier this year, where yoga school Puppies & Yoga currently runs classes in two locations.

People following a class at Puppies & Yoga have 30 minutes of lessons and than 30 minutes to cuddle and photograph the puppies which are aged between eight and 12 weeks old. A session costs €45.

Animal protection organisations and yoga teachers are worried the animals are suffering because they are constantly being picked up “class after class”.

According to yoga teachers who talked to consumer programma Radar, the puppies are overstimulated and sometimes vomit from stress. Contrary to yoga school claims, the dogs are not monitored by the breeder, they said.

“Everyone was on top of them,” one yoga teacher who worked with the puppies told the programme. “They were cowering together in their cage. I can’t imagine how they felt.”

Animal welfare organisation Dierenbescherming also supports the petition. “It seemed a cute idea but it’s not without problems,” a spokesperson said.

The odd class won’t harm a young dog, she said but puppies need 20 hours of sleep a day and must always be able to get away from noise. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. They mustn’t fall victim to a trend.”

Puppies & Yoga, which has two locations in Amsterdam, also offers classes in six other European cities, including Paris and Milan.

“As long as the demand for puppy yoga increases we will continue to open schools,” French owner Henri Sago told the Parool earlier.

In a reaction to the Radar programme Puppies & Yoga said the well-being of the dogs is paramount. The company denies that the animals are being woken up for cuddle sessions or that they are being forced to do things against their will.

They also deny the puppy vomited from stress. “We have organised over 5,000 sessions and have never witnessed any incidents,” the school said.


A petition to stop the puppy yoga hype in the Netherlands because it causes stress to the animals had been signed nearly 3,700 times by Monday morning.

Yoga teacher Isolde Zandee, who organised the petition, said participants and yoga teachers probably think they are doing nothing wrong.

“I’m just trying to raise awareness,” she told the Parool. “There must be better ways of doing this, for instance by limiting the cuddling to half an hour a day. They are not objects,” she said.

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