Monday, January 23, 2012
SociaBulls: Navigating a Dog-Walking Group in a Densely Populated City
Last week Lark from HikeaBulls shared some great tips about the importance of creating structure to set all the dogs up for success. To add on, here are some things we've learned about managing walks within the city:
Explore Beforehand and Choose a Continuous Route:
Have a Dogless Leader (or a Few!):
Create a Pack Order:
Eventually they became a trifecta. Mr. B's BFF's are Jack, Torre, and Gordon.
Respect! And Set Rules
our rules and structure knowing all dogs have different socialization levels and we want to make this a positive experience for everyone. We discuss our structure through email, and now an application where they indicate that they have read and understood the rules. We are an 'owners helping owners' group and we create a positive supportive environment for other owners to work with our dogs. We think having trainers on the walk would be kind of like having a personal trainer join a fun-running group, so we don't have trainers on the walk or align with a single trainer.
We want our group of responsible dog owners to be seen in a positive way and we are very respectful of the neighborhoods we visit. The group makes sure to walk to one side, and if there is a runner coming we yell back to the rest of the group so we all give them space. We all bring poo bags and clean up after ourselves. We also cap our walks around 23 dogs so we won't take up too much space in a densely populated area.
We also know that many people who see us will judge all pitbull-type dogs based on what they see from us, so we always want to be seen in a positive light.
Pick your Own Name
For all of those who have emailed (and so sorry for the slow response...this has been an incredibly busy time with work/school), I hope these ideas have been helpful. We would love to hear about the progress of your groups, or any other questions.
PS. My camera stopped working mid-walk so luckily for smartphones, and a great pack leader, we were able to get these photos!