While I usually think of SociaBulls as an activity I'm doing every week, so often I forget that I'm just the accessory and it's really the dogs' club.
As our little pack has grown and walked together so much, they dogs themselves have instituted their own set of rules beyond what we have in place:
So many members have told us that their dogs seem know when they're going to SociaBulls, and they adjust themselves accordingly.
Dogs who are normally excited at the glimpse of another dog aren't jumping towards other dogs. Dogs who might be vocal don't bark as much.
Dogs who might be slow or hesitant to walk, keep up with the pack.
Through the structure we've set up, and the rhythm of the walking, the dogs develop the expectation of the group as a comfortable place where they are able to socialize in a natural way.
The Pack Mentality
The dogs have developed an understanding that they are a group.
Besides the initial walk or two when a dog is still learning about SociaBulls, dogs typically don't bark at each other within the group.
But, if they see another dog walk by the group, vocal dogs might react to that single dog outside the group.
The Buddy System
While we have a no-greeting policy, the pups definitely have an awareness and recognition of other dogs in the group.
We create a pack order to help our dogs of all levels feel comfortable, and often they begin walking near the same dog on a weekly basis.
And even if all they see is the backside of a dog the whole walk, they do develop a comfort and recognition of other dogs in the group.
It's funny, because sometimes we see some of our SociaBulls friends when we are just out on our daily walks and we can tell that our pups know who they are.