Tuesday, August 2, 2011

City Dog: Starting a Chicago Dog-Walking Club

We're always looking for new things to do with our dogs in the city. We know a well-balanced dog should be consistently exposed to new people, places and other dogs in positive settings. And while we have the new people and places thing down, it can always be a struggle to have controlled dog socialization in the city.
 For awhile I have been quite envious of HikeaBulls out in California. The group was started by Tracey Cutler who wanted to find a positive way to socialize her dogs. She did research on the benefits of dogs hiking together as a pack as another type of positive dog socialization. The dogs don't physically interact, but the rhythm of all walking together is a positive, dog-social experience. The group also gives people a place to feel comfortable working on training and dog manners as we all know our dogs can constantly be a work-in-progress. The walks are structured to be calm so dogs never greet each other, to keep excitement down, and everyone is given a lot of space.
After wishing we had something like this in Chicago, I began communicating with Lark who has been so great in giving advice about how we could start our own dog walking club in Chicago. So...we decided to start one.
Right now, Miss M and Mr. B are the only members.
We spent last week scouting out the perfect location where a group of dogs could take a calm, uninterrupted hike in the city of Chicago. And I think we found the perfect spot isolated spot along the lakefront trail.
The area is fairly isolated and absolutely beautiful. With tiny city beaches, harbor views:
And the city skyline:
Chicago people...we would love for you to join us!

32 comments:

Harper said...

What a fabulous idea!! I look forward to hearing how these turn out.

Two Crazy Coaches said...

What a fun idea! I bet your club will grow very quickly!

Froggy said...

Just emailed you! Maize and I are excited!

Nancy said...

I am so jealous! Hikeabull is too far from me as I am in So Cal, and now you are too! I will be watching to see how this works for you. If it is a success maybe something can be put together for those of us in the LA area. Good luck!

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

Great idea! If only we could join :(

loveandaleash said...

just be sure to swing by dc on one of your walks. we will join right in!

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

What a great idea!

rottrover said...

What a great idea, and a beautiful place to walk. Wish we could join you all!! Good luck!

-Gizmo, Bart and Ruby

Trissi_V said...

That is an awesome idea! Wish we could join you. BTW, Miss M's smile is just infectious...such a cutie!

Patty said...

What a great idea! Can't wait to hear how it goes. I really want to head to a hike a bull event since I live in the area, just need to find a time that works.

Tucker The Crestie said...

What a great idea! Wish we could join you!

Corbin said...

This is such a great idea!
-Corbin

A&A Friese said...

Great idea, there is a new dog walking club in Anchorage that I have been meaning to check out. Good luck with getting more members, can't wait to see how it goes for you!

houndstooth said...

I am in total envy! We've wanted to start a walking club near us for the past few years, and we've had no luck. I hope you get a lot of people joining you!

Nigel Stolting said...

So great to see other dog hiking groups being setup. HikeABUll has been such a great help my wife and I to socialize our own dogs and also our foster dog. Good luck with your hiking group!

Benny and Lily said...

Great idea. We love your pictures. Walks sure are very important
Benny & Lily

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

This is such a great idea! Good for you guys!

brooke said...

That's so cool! Wish we were closer so we could join you!

For the Love of Dog said...

This is a wonderful idea! I live near Indianapolis and I found a group of great dane owners and we meet a couple of times a month. I know you will all enjoy this as much as I enjoy meeting with my great dane group. Keena and I love seeing the other dogs and people. Its really important for Keena to have other dogs her size because most small dogs (and their owners) are automatically fearful. Have fun! If I lived closer I would be there!

Annie and Keena

Pibble said...

Oh, why do I have to live in Connecticut?! Have fun - the location looks gorgeous!

Vicki said...

I just came across your blog today, I'm so happy I found it!! I have a 12 year old elderbull (a term I learned just moments ago from you!) who is frequently the shining star of my own blog, and it's so great seeing someone else's babies' lives documented so beautifully.

Question for you, what kind of camera do you use? Your shots are gorgeous.

Brenda said...

Wow!! I've only seen your dogs inside, or on the sidewalks outside - never in a setting like this! The lake is beautiful! Reminds me of the Lakewalk in Duluth, MN along Lake Superior. The 5 mile Lakewalk there was ideal for walking dogs, I really miss it. Hope you get some walking buddies - this is a great idea!

Two Pitties in the City said...

We're very excited about our new club, and we're looking forward to meeting everyone.

Vicky--We are using a Nikon DSLR with a 35mm lens to give the blurred background effect. I'm still in the learning stages, and I'm just lucky to have some very good models.

Kristine said...

How fantastic! I've been looking for fellow dog-walkers in my city for a long time but so far my search has been limited. Perhaps it's time to look into starting something like this myself!

I hope you have fun!

road-dog-tales said...

haha We're the only members of our dog-walking group, too! But, we're betting you two won't be alone long - what hip Chicago pup wouldn't love to join you???

The Road Dogs

Amy said...

What a great idea! I wish we were in Chicago - Buster would love to join the club.

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