By walking together, we’re improving together!
Our only rule: No nose-to-nose, on-leash dog greetings, please
Who: Anyone can join us!
There are no breed restrictions and children are also welcome. Your dog might be relaxed and happy, mildly stressed, frustrated and wanting to play, or even completely over threshold while on leash around other dogs and that’s OK! However, those dogs who are stressed out enough to potentially be aggressive to humans (including growling, lunging, snapping) might not be right for our group for obvious safety reasons. Also, we actively avoid retractable leashes and metal choke and pinch collars.
What: Walking together on leash as a “pack”
Quite simply, it’s just dogs and their humans walking as a group, giving them an opportunity to socialize without risk of forced interactions with other dogs and to practice everyday “good citizen” behaviors like not pulling on the leash, stopping at curbs, walking through crowds and being calm around other dogs. Instead of letting dogs meet nose-to-nose, it’s much safer to let them walk side-by-side or in a single file. It is not a training class and there is no fee to participate.
Why: Socialization and exercise
Our first packwalk in August 2013 was created for dogs of varying degrees of comfort with other dogs, but mostly for those who can be reactive. The members of our group know that stress, fear and frustration are the most likely causes of leash reactivity and certainly not because you have a “bad” dog who needs to be “punished.” We want to decrease negative emotional reactions! And of course we also want to decrease YOUR stress if your dog gets reactive (bark-y, pull-y, lunge-y and/or generally “crazy”) around other dogs!
Mustard’s Last Stand parking lot
415 E New Haven Ave
Historic downtown Melbourne, FL
We typically walk from Mustard’s through downtown to the railroad tracks and back. Sometimes people arrive early or stay late to have snacks or drinks at some of the dog-friendly places nearby. It’s a social gathering for the humans, too!
Fridays at 6:00pm
Rain or shine
https://library.municode.com/fl/brevard_county/codes/code_of_ordinances (Chapter 14, Article II, Section 14-36: “To maintain physical control the animal must be on a leash not to exceed six feet at its maximum extension.”)
https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/behavior/leash-barrier-reactivity/leash-reactivity-in-otherwise-friendly-dogs/ (Understanding why dogs are reactive)
https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/behavior/leash-barrier-reactivity/how-to-help-a-leash-reactive-dog/ (Punishment is not the answer)
https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/behavior/leash-barrier-reactivity/unwanted-dog-reactive-behaviors/ (Some quick fix solutions)