Improving personal health while building the bond between dogs and their owners is just one of the goals behind a new fundraising campaign in support of Guide Dogs Tasmania.
Combining yoga with dogs, the Doga Challenge encourages participants to take part in 30 minutes of Doga a day, for 30 days during August. With all funds raised going directly to Guide Dogs Tasmania, services program manager Kim Ryan said there were benefits for the dog and their owner.
"Having your dog participate or close by during a Doga session promotes calmness in both you and the dog," she said.
"[It] strengthens the bond between a dog and owner, and keeps the dog's mind active which can help with improving their general behaviours and responsiveness to training."
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Among those already signed up for the challenge are volunteer Laura Thompson and guide dog in training Gilbert.
Ms Thompson said she was excited to give it a go and said having small goals would help her stay on track.
"Spending time with these amazing dogs and seeing firsthand how important they are to those with visual impairments makes me feel so passionate about helping Guide Dogs Tasmania wherever I can, to ensure their great work can continue," she said.
"My aim is to improve my splits by the end of the month, although I'm not sure how much yoga I will actually achieve... Gilbert thinks that my exercise time is play time."
Guide Dogs Tasmania provides guide, therapy and companion dogs for Tasmanians living with disability. Dependant on donations, community fundraising coordinator Kristy Wright said it could cost more than $50,000 to raise and train just one guide dog.
"Every dollar you donate will be put towards the cost of running the training program which will transform a life of a person living with low vision, disability or illness in the local community," she said.
The Doga Challenge is free and open to anyone - even those without a pet - with participants encouraged to share their journey online.
More information can be found here.
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