I have organized a Dog Owners Group in our gated community to provide for more common and shared experiences with our dogs. There are over 500 dogs that live in this community of 1200 homes. We have miles of sidewalks and trails through the arroyos to walk on. So one of the activities I have organized is a pack walk every Saturday morning at 9 am.
Yesterday it was cold, overcast and threatening rain and we had our lowest turnout of only 7 dogs. They ranged in size from a Golden Retriever and a Golden Doodle to Ricky and a Papillon.
Ricky LOVES pack walks. He is always well mannered and well behaved. He has a continual open mouth "grin"
on his face. We usually walk in a pack for 30 to 45 minutes. One of our members and participants is a professional dog basic trainer. She works with the owners of reactive dogs during the walks (at the back of the pack) and those dogs and their owners start to relax a few minutes into the walk. The owners are so proud of "their dogs" accomplishment!
Yesterday, at the end of the walk, Linda the trainer, gave some summary pointers to the assembled group about strategies for reactive and high anxiety dogs in public settings. Well Ricky was having none of it! His walk was over and he went into full play mode. Although still on his 6 foot leash, he started RLH back and forth and in circles around me. Then he challenged the Papillon, Remmie, to a boxing match. They were both on their hind legs dooking it out, having the time of their lives, boxing and wrestling. Linda was making a point about how it was necessary to keep your dog under control at all times............and then she looked over at Ricky, SIGHED, and said, "and then you have a breed like a Havanese who are high energy and always happy and you have a whole new set of challenges!"
Pack walks are fun for both dog and owner, but they must be well organized. Try one, both of you will like it!