“Alvin had been in the rescue centre for over two months as a stray.Within the first week of having him home he became really aggressive with all dogs, he barked constantly at home, he barked and growled at small children, elderly people, buses, cats, squirrels, car doors shutting 3 streets away….sometimes I was close to tears and would scream at him to stop. Then he’d cower and I would feel guilty. The problem was we didn’t know anything about his history.We struggled on for 6 months, I could barely bring myself to take him for a walk, everytime I saw a dog I ended up picking him up to stop him getting to other dogs and he scratched me and barked in my face…
We took Alvin for his first [social walk] class … it was also the first time I had ever seen him sniff a dog’s bum. It was my proudest moment since we took him home!We found that taking him to the classes made the biggest change in him.He started wagging his tail outside after the classes and shows genuine interest in dogs when he’s out walking now.“
Sam, Ray and Alvin (see full testimonial here)
Dogs are innately social creatures. However, sometimes things go wrong. Bad experiences, a lack of positive experiences, inadvertent training on our part, or a nervous disposition can lead to a dog who appears to lack the basic skills required to get on with other dogs.
Whether your dog needs to rebuild those social skills, you want to ensure they never lose them, or you simply want to add to your dog’s life by providing them with the opportunity to have nice doggy companionships, social walks can really help.
These are mixture of calm, social walking (giving the dogs the opportunity to walk calmly with other dogs, rather than the manic off-lead play that dominates a lot of dog/dog interaction), basic scenting work, and some work on the training issues that people tend to struggle with, such as loose lead walking and recall. We will look at how dogs communicate and you will learn to observe body language as the opportunity presents. Each week will be slightly different and the focus may change depending on the dogs who are present.
These are the ideal next step for puppies who have completed puppy classes, or for clients who have worked out any major creases in their dog training, but want to make sure they keep on track and don’t relapse into bad habits! If you have been working with me on reactivity issues in your dog, social walks can be a great way to build on the work we have already done.
If your dog has dog reactivity issues, we may need to put in some ground-work on some private sessions first, to ensure that the walks are the right place for your dog at this time.
All dogs in attendance will have met me in the context of puppy classes or private 1:1 sessions, so we will be aware of any issues, and familiar with all dogs present.
Attendance costs €10/dog- and get every 6th class free with our loyalty card!
If you have not worked with me previously, but would like to be involved in the social walks, please get in touch to book a quick evaluation session to ensure that social walks are the right thing for your dog.