Monday, September 15, 2014

PEDs: Controlled Chaos

This week our walking group welcomed two new members to our walk (welcome Lilly & Bones!).  of course, with new additions comes new energy.

As our group has grown, we have welcomed a number of new members.  But usually one at a time.  With a few new dogs, it seemed like the group was out of step with one another.

Of course, that's to be expected.  As we grow, we become a new pack.  Our pooches (and humans!) have to find their groove together and figure out what works for each other.  The beauty is that our group rolls with the punches and keeps on walking!

Those of you that walk with groups, how do you handle new members?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Dog is Friendly!

Edison is making huge improvements walking.  We've been working on walking him sans-prong with really great results.  We still make sure to give ourselves plenty of room should we come across another dog, pedestrian, or bicyclist by moving across the street or waiting on the tree-lawn.

In doing so, we rarely have issues with people or dogs.  But every once in a while, people disregard our requests.

They will walk too close to us with their dog (yes, I know he's friendly -- mine needs space!), or continue approaching Edison even though he's too excited (but, can you blame them?  Look at that face!)

It all makes it very hard.  We try to set up for success 100% of the time, but some things are out of our control.  We do our best to intercept, re-direct, or move away.  And when all that fails, sometimes Edison proves us wrong and is on his best behavior.

Do you have trouble with other pedestrians/dog walkers on your walks?  How do you handle it?

Monday, September 8, 2014

PEDs: Confidence Needed

We started this group to help socialize Edison dogs who need a little assistance in socializing.  We know not all dogs are successful in full-contact socialization, and there was a definite need for passive socialization in Erie.

When we get potential members with reactive dogs, they are always nervous about joining the group.  We understand the feelings associated with a doggy meltdown, but we also know that our group doesn't mind.  Our group truly does take dogs at all levels.  We leave it up to the humans to know their dogs and work within their dogs' comfort levels.  That may mean walking an entire block behind us, and that's okay.

One requirement that we do have to join is that our new members be confident.  A new dog might have a meltdown, but that's okay -- as long as the human end of the leash can re-group and let it go (easier said that done!).  We're all there working on something!!

What are you and your pooch working on?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Family RUN Friday

I've been running again.  On short runs (and cool days) I like to take one of the pooches with me.

The instinctual choice is Edison; he's so energetic -- and wouldn't it be nice to have a peaceful night for once?  In reality, he's not that great.  He gets way overheated on even a moderately warm day and becomes distracted by the smallest things (oh, look! Is that a rock?!)

While Tesla is super laid back, she's also surprisingly athletic.  She runs circles around Ed in the yard and makes turns that would surprise a professional driver.  She's also a great running partner.  She has no problem keeping up and running short distances (3-4 miles), and even keeps perfect pace!

Do you run with your dog?  We want to know!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Canine Look-Alikes

We've all heard about dogs who look like their owners.  The more dog owners I meet, the truer it becomes.  While it may not be that they look alike, they end up sharing a lot of similarities.

For example, neither Tesla nor I like to be home alone.  And Sam and Edi both scarf down their food.   Tess and I both like snuggles, but like our space when it's time to sleep -- Edi & Sam want to be smushed together.

I just wonder -- do our dogs pick up things from us (or us from them), or do we find ourselves in the dogs we choose?  Is it really just our soul finding a piece of itself in another being?

Do you have any similarities with your dog, physical or otherwise?  And check out this study done in Japan!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PEDs: My First Walk

When we first started our dog walking group, we would cancel if I couldn't be there. Since this summer has been so crazy, there have been many Sundays we have been out of town.  Luckily, we have been starting to share some of the responsibilities of the walks.

One of our members (thanks, Karen!!) has been leading the walks -- and even taking the photos! -- while we've been gone.  This week, she offered to attend the walk dog-less and take photos so that I could bring one of the pooches.

That's how I attended my very first pack walk!  Edison did fantastic and I had a great time enjoying a beautiful view and fantastic company.  I could never imagined when we started last May that this group would turn into such a supportive community!

Thank you to everyone who has made each of our walks successful!  And a special thanks to Karen  for keeping us going!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Family Walk Friday: Two Dogs at Once

As much as we think we sometimes want another dog, it really is nice having one human for every pooch.  While Sam & I don't travel much for work, there are occasions where it's one human and two dogs.

 In that case, one of us is responsible for walking both dogs.  Often, I'll take each dog for a shorter walk.  But there are sometimes I want to take the dogs for a longer walk, or I don't have time for two walks.

 For those times, I walk the dogs together.  While Edison and Tesla are pretty good walkers on their own, it seems that they lose all manners when walked together.  I've found keeping the walks shorter, having plenty of treats, and frequent check-ins help create a successful walk with two pooches.

Do you have to walk two pooches?  What are some tricks you use to make it successful?