A pack walk is not just a group of dogs being led on a structured walk. Pack walks offer so much more than a means of physical exercise. They combine walking, dog psychology, and training. By keeping dogs moving in one cohesive group, we stimulate their minds, providing them with not only a great physical workout, but a psychological workout as well. Not to mention that a pack walk combines two of a dog’s favorite things: walking and other dogs! They bond as they walk unified in a group and together they become pack mates.
Why Choose Pack Walking?
Pack walks hold many benefits for dogs in addition to challenging the body and mind. While on a group dog walk, a dog’s instinctual need to travel together is fulfilled. They can enjoy walking alongside each other and being exposed to different types of behavior. For reactive dogs, the pack encourages a calm demeanor and provides them with a positive experience with both dogs and people. For nervous dogs, the pack offers a welcoming space to walk with comrades and help them to improve their social skills.
Pack walking helps a dog focus on practicing calm energy and cooperating with one another. Not only do these pack walks benefit the dogs; they benefit their owners as well. Clients will enjoy a guilt-free day knowing that their dogs are safe, well-entertained, and enjoying a fun experience with their friends!
What made you start pack walking?
I heard about pack walking from a good friend of mine Gary Cassera. I knew I wanted to pursue something with a pack of dogs. At first, I wanted to open up my own dog daycare, I went to the business association, did a business plan and realized I wanted to work at a dog daycare, not own it. Then, I went back into the business association and told the people there, I figured it out! I wanted to own a rehabilitation center for dogs. But, that still didn’t fit because I realized I would need a pack of dogs to help me rehabilitate. After a few talks with Gary, I was sold on pack walking. It serves such an incredible purpose to our community. So many dogs have changed for the better because of me starting this business. They love it because their instinct is to travel as a pack. I couldn’t be happier. (And it makes people smile to see that many dogs at once.)
Adventures in Pack-Walking
One of the most unexpected results of my pack-walking is the romantic relationships between my dogs….ok maybe I’m making things up. But, read these stories and make your own conclusion. Almost everyone is paired up. A surprising relationship is between Nemo, a senior Golden Retriever who has mobility issues, and Sophie, a 7-month-old Teacup Yorkshire terrier. Nemo needs a cheerleader most days for him to stay at the same pace as everyone else. Sophie is his biggest cheerleader. Whenever he stops and looks defeated, she will wiggle her body in front of his face. It works, he smiles and gets up. She’s helping him out so much. The other day we stopped to take a short break and Sophie was laying on Nemo. If they aren’t in love, they are great friends!!
Nemo’s sister, Nala and her boyfriend Donnie, a yellow Labrador Retriever, have been “together” the longest. Nala will pull Donnie’s leash to encourage him to come into the van. I’ve caught them nuzzling and their paws overtop of each other as well. And whenever a new girl dog comes into the pack, Nala seems to put herself right next to Donnie on the walk.
During the pack walks, there is a lot of shuffling to get next to their favorite friends. Not only do they seek out their romantic partners, but oftentimes the same breeds will walk next to each other.
The most recent was when Charlie, the beagle, was first introduced to the pack. He went up to Seamus, the hound mix, as if he recognized him. Both of these dogs had never met before.
When I first started pack-walking, I was concerned dogs might chase squirrels and bark at mail carriers. But, something really incredible happened instead. It turns out that those behaviors iron out. They don’t seem to be as worried as they would be on individual walks because they want to keep walking and keeping up with their friends.
My goal is build this business more and more.
If you and your dog want to take advantage of all of the benefits that pack walking has to offer, give me a call at (716) 479-1617 today!