Our group walks are designed to create a controlled environment with controlled interactions within a group of dogs to socialise and rehabilitate those in need. Although the focus is generally on dog-to-dog interactions, dogs with issues around people can also benefit from other owners who will be happy to help!
Some of our dogs are comfortable and well socialised with other dogs and people (if you have such a dog why not become one of our helper dogs to aid in the rehabilitation of others and make some new doggy friends!).
However, other dogs are attending because they are very nervous around other dogs and need their confidence building and to build relationships with other dogs. Others may have learned in their past to be reactive towards other dogs to keep them away, or need to learn self-control around other dogs because they are just too friendly!
Whatever the nature of the dogs’ issues we make sure that everybody present has been assessed as suitable and are working towards common goals of appropriate behaviour around other dogs. Off lead interactions are carefully controlled to make sure everybody is having fun!
Group walks are held monthly in an area where seeing ‘outsiders’ is unlikely. The only people present will be keeping their dogs under control and training for focus and relaxation.
Sometimes people can be put off by the need for assessment of reactive dogs prior to joining but I hope that they appreciate the same knowledge and security that once they join group walk that no un-known dogs are going to spoil their experience further down the line. It may also seem like we put a lot of emphasis on control; whilst it is lovely for dogs to be dogs, they must be learning how to be appropriate dogs. Leaving dogs to their own devices can lead to them learning poor social skills, even if they are friendly interactions.
If you think that your dog sounds like a good candidate for a helper dog and would like to help out, or you think you and your dog could benefit from some work around other dogs and people then please do get in touch.